A project implemented by FAO and funded by the European Union (FAO Project No. GCP/RER/041/EC; EU Project No. ENPI 2012/298-262; Start date: 16th July, 2012; End date: 31st December, 2012)
The European Eastern Partnership is made up of six countries in two geographic areas. (i) The South Caucasus: Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, and (ii) Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus.
Many of the Eastern Partnership countries have large rural populations relying for their livelihoods on small and fragmented land plots and use of communal or state owned pasturelands. These small-holders have very limited resources with little growth potential. The current global crisis, with rising food prices among other consequences, has demonstrated the need of the Eastern Partnership Countries to develop agriculture and rural development policies. On one hand, to modernize agriculture and increase production on a sustainable basis; on the other hand, to develop rural areas, the infrastructure, and to increase income opportunities providing for a better quality of life and prospects for families.
Therefore, under the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD), the EU has requested FAO to implement a study entitled ”Assessment of Agriculture and Rural Development Sectors in the Eastern Partnership Countries”, in order to identify the issues central to the development of appropriate strategies and policies, the areas of intervention and the beneficiaries. The assessments were carried out in the period September to December 2012.
For each of the countries, a comprehensive sector (agriculture and rural areas) analytical study was undertaken, which provide the basis for a synthesis of major common issues, identification of gaps, potential solutions and priority actions and challenges of the agriculture and rural development sectors at national and regional levels.
The results and recommendations of the country assessments were presented during the Regional Technical Workshop, 19th November 2012, in Brussels.