FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

Georgia signs four-year cooperation agreement with FAO

Continuous improvement of Georgia’s agriculture, food safety, veterinary services and plant protection – and its response to climate change, biodiversity and other environmental issues – are the priorities set out in a new agreement with FAO signed here today.

Georgian Minister of Agriculture Levan Davitashvili signed the “FAO Country Programming Framework for Georgia 2016-2020,” together with Raimund Jehle, Regional Strategic Programmes Coordinator for FAO in Europe and Central Asia and FAO Representative in Georgia. The four-year agreement aims at institutional, regional and sectoral development of agriculture and related subsectors.

“The Country Programming Framework makes available FAO expertise and innovative international best practices in agriculture to support Georgia in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” Jehle said. “The agreement contributes in particular to strong institutional capacity, sustainable and more resilient agriculture, and improved food safety.”

Since the land reform of the early 1990s, Georgia has become a country of smallholders and family farms. All priority areas outlined in the agreement with FAO clearly support smallholders in developing productivity and competitiveness. They also point to improved livelihoods and reduction of poverty for disadvantaged groups in rural areas, including the internally displaced persons.

Cross-sectoral expertise related to nutrition, gender equality and governance standards will be important for increasing impact, and coping with the universalities of the Sustainable Development Goals, Jehle said.

In order to empower women and men farmers, to lead them to good agricultural practices, FAO will work with the Ministry of Agriculture to help improve its capacities for implementing the current Strategy for Agricultural Development and associated Action Plan. FAO will provide technical advice on introduce quality policy and aligning its measures with international and EU standards.

FAO is also ready to assist the country on food safety, veterinary and plant protection, and improving efficiency and reliability in the country’s animal health protection, surveillance, monitoring, and traceability system. Plant and pest control services will also be strengthened.

There will be a focus on conservation of the Georgia’s unique biological diversity and establishing a system of sustainable management and effective use of forest and wildlife resources. Adaptation to climate change in agriculture is a national priority, and FAO will support the application of Climate Smart Agriculture and Disaster Risk Reduction measures.

The agreement was drawn up following consultations with Ministries and government agencies. It also benefitted from discussion with development partners with key resource partners including the European Union, Austrian Development Agency and Swiss Development Cooperation, and with development partners including other United Nations agencies. Representatives of nongovernmental and civil society organizations also were consulted.

The FAO Country Programming Framework for Georgia 2016-2020 is a direct contribution to implementation of the United Nations Partnership for Sustainable Development 2016-2020 document, which summarizes the Government of Georgia and United Nations (UN) partnership.

“We look forward to working with the government and people of Georgia,” said Jehle, “to help the country meet UN development goals as well as requirements for EU integration.”

16 November 2016, Tbilisi, Georgia