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12/12/2007

CIS countries share experiences on agricultural investment project implementation

From 6 to 8 December 2007, representatives from all ten countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States convened for a workshop on “Sharing Experiences on Agricultural Investment Project Implementation in the CIS”, held near Moscow. The workshop was organized by the FAO Investment Centre. The aim was to promote communication among national and international staff working in Project Implementation Units (PIUs), donor agencies and FAO, on factors for success and major difficulties and constraints in project implementation in the CIS region. Participants came from over 20 PIUs in the ten countries. The Centre was represented by the Director, Mr Charles Riemenschneider, a Senior Adviser, Ms Eugenia Serova, and the Service Chief responsible for investment support work in CIS countries, Mr Claudio Gregorio, who briefed participants on the FAO Investment Centre’s mandate, objectives and achievements, and illustrated the emerging challenges and opportunities for its work in the CIS region.

Salient features of the workshop included:

The representatives from the World Bank and the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) addressed major challenges faced by international financing institutions in the region, and possible implications for strategic priorities and future project pipeline development.

High-level experts from Armenia, Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation, and from the UN Development Programme in Ukraine, presented their views on previous experience with public investment projects in the region, and gave an overview of their country strategies in agriculture development.

General issues on project implementation in the CIS region were a subject of intensive debate. Working groups were also convened to review experiences in five specific areas: rural development, rural finance, value chains, advisory services, and irrigation and drainage.

The workshop provided feedback to the Investment Centre to draw conclusions which will contribute to the improvement of its work with governments and financing partners in the CIS region.