FAO in Georgia

FAO Contributing to the Sustainable Development of Agrifood Systems in Georgia through the support of the EU


ExpoGeorgia, Tbilisi – The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) held a multi-stakeholder event to mark the closing of the FAO project under the ENPARD III Programme, financed by the European Union (EU). The event aimed to showcase the results achieved by FAO, with the support of the EU, within the scope of the EUR 12 Million Programme, along with focusing on connecting its beneficiaries through “business-to-business” (B2B) meetings. Key priorities for sustainable agrifood system development for the upcoming ENPARD IV were also discussed. 

Opening remarkswere delivered by Nino Tandilashvili, Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia; Javier Sanz Alvarez, FAO-EU Programme Coordinator; and Georges Dehoux, Programme Manager for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Safety at the EU Delegation to Georgia.
Mr. Sanz Alvarez also presented the ENPARD III Closing Results and Lessons Learned. Moreover, the following four panel discussions were organised during the event: Access to Finance, Environmental Considerations and Best Practices; Retailers; ENPARD IV Investment Opportunities. Moreover, B2B meetings were held for FAO-EU project beneficiaries. 

Hence, the event was centred around agricultural value-chain development, food safety, access to finance, best agriculture practices, and future possibilities. The FAO-EU project beneficiaries participated in the B2B matchmaking session, which was organised to promote networking opportunities between the program’s beneficiaries and discuss challenges and opportunities in agrifood systems in Georgia.

As a result, farmers and producers benefitting from the FAO-EU project received in-depth information about the results of the Programme. This way, the event highlighted the fact that FAO prioritises building relationships that are transparent. Importantly, the key priorities and opportunities for the upcoming ENPARD IV phase were shared and discussed with the participants. All parties expressed interest in food safety-related issues and actively participated in the dialogue on the matter. Moreover, through the facilitated B2B meetings, around 250 FAO-EU beneficiaries met with each other and discussed paths for collaboration to develop their businesses. 

With more than USD 6.2 Million of matching grants disbursed, ENPARD III financially supported over 350 farmers and producers in the country and fostered around USD 15 Million of direct investment in the agricultural sector in Georgia. Consequently, more than 1,500 jobs are being created, and beneficiaries of the Programme are increasing their productivity, as well as turnover. Moreover, the extension component of the Programme provided valuable technical assistance and service provision to more than 1,900 people in several regions of Georgia. While through the support of the EU, the FAO policy team worked extensively with the Ministry of Environmental protection and Agriculture and other governmental stakeholders, providing technical support to develop and implement policies which ensure that no one is left behind.

“FAO, through the ENPARD Programme, has been successfully supporting the development of Georgia’s agriculture since 2013. Through the technical support to improve state policies in agriculture, facilitated access to finance for farmers and companies, and training farmers in good agricultural practices, and in fruitful partnerships with key state institutions and the private sector in the country, FAO and the EU have proved the full potential to develop the agricultural sector in Georgia, and demonstrate the benefits of sustainable agrifood systems development in local communities,” – said Javier Sanz Alvarez, FAO-EU Programme Coordinator.

“The support we provided through FAO to the development of Georgia’s agriculture sector under ENPARD has demonstrated the huge economic potential of this sector. Working directly with both state institutions, farmers and private sector on issues ranging from access to finance, knowledge building and technical advisory has demonstrated the true economic potential of agricultural value chains in Georgia. More importantly, they have demonstrated how reaching this potential can be achieved while respecting environmentally and socio-economically sustainable practices.” – said Georges Dehoux, Programme Manager for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Safety at the EU Delegation to Georgia.

“I would like to thank the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture and its subordinated agencies, as well as the Parliament of Georgia and other stakeholders. The constructive and productive relationships which we have been establishing with them in the scope of ENPARD III of the EU have truly accelerated progress toward the advancement of the agriculture sector, which is more systematised, inclusive, productive, and competitive on an international level. We still have a long way forward before reaching our common objectives, and I am sure that, in the coming years, we will make major gains in tackling the challenges of food security, food safety, among others, by continuing in the same collaborative spirit.” – said Juba Maruashvili, FAO Policy Advisor. `

“We, as FAO, take great pride in working directly with small and medium agricultural actors and building strong relationships with them. Giving and getting feedback from farmers, producers, and other value chain actors was pivotal in ensuring that our investments do indeed bring about results that are beneficial for individuals, but also for communities on local and national levels. The support provided not only helped create economic opportunities in the regions or raising farmers’ income, but also supported the adoption of better practices with a greater environmental sustainability,” – said Matthieu Rouviere, FAO Senior Agribusiness and Value Chains Expert.

“I am glad to be able to say that the models used by the team for extension purposes under the ENPARD III, have effectively engaged hundreds of farmers and producers. We have been prolifically disseminating sustainable farming techniques to them. Many of our beneficiaries, direct and indirect, have actually adopted the technological packages shared by our agronomists and veterinarians and improved their livelihood while producing more and safer agricultural products,” – said Allan Pineda Burgos, International Agronomist and Capacity Building Specialist at FAO. 

The European Union supports rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD Programme. Aiming to reduce rural poverty, ENPARD has been implemented since 2013, with a total budget of Euro 179.5 million. The first phase of ENPARD focused on developing national agriculture potential, while the second and third phases concentrate on creating economic opportunities for the rural population that go beyond agricultural activities.