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Background

shutterstock_327332117At present, Strategy of Agricultural Development in Georgia 2015-2020 is the main policy document guiding the sectoral reforms in the country. The main objective of the Strategy is the development of agriculture through strengthening of small households and forming of profitable production chains.
Under the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, Georgia is committed to promote agricultural and rural development, in particular through progressive convergence of policies and legislation, including sharing knowledge and best practices of rural development policies to promote economic well-being for rural communities and ‘enhancing the administrative capacities at central and local level to plan, evaluate, implement and enforce policies in accordance with EU regulations and best practices.
The EU is a key donor in this area, with one of the specific objectives of the Single Strategic Framework (SSF) 2014/2017 for Georgia being: to improve the competitiveness of the agricultural sector by means of increased the volume and value of outputs in the agriculture sector, increased the access to knowledge on improved agriculture technologies by small farmer’s and increased in the percentage of small farmers in commercial farming.
To date, the main tool for achieving this aim in Georgia is the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD).

What is ENPARD?

The European Union provides support to rural development and agriculture in Georgia throughENPARD, the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development.
Implemented since 2013, the main goal of the ENPARD programme is to reduce rural poverty. Programme assistance is provided to the government and alsoto NGOs working directly with communities on the ground.
Through the ENPARD programme, the European Union aims to reach three goals:
  • To build capacity and support government institutions in the reform of the agriculture and rural development sector;
  • To improve employment and living conditions of rural populationsbystrengtheningfarmers’ cooperationskills and access to resources;
  • To promotediversified social and economic opportunities in rural areas,particularly for women and youth, in due respect to the environment and the cultural heritage.
The total budget for ENPARD in Georgia for 2013-2019 is €102 million.

How ENPARD Works?

Provides capacity building and support to the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and its line agencies in a range of topics, including:
  • policy making;
  • monitoring and evaluation;
  • development of an effective donor coordination system and co-ordination with other line agencies;
  • development and implementation of a human resources appraisal, training and development programme;
  • improvement of the extension service provision and advisory capabilities;

Results:

In order to increase agricultural production and reach economies of scale, by establishing business-oriented cooperation forms through a small farmers’ cooperation component. This support, primarily channelled through non state actors (Oxfam, Mercy Corps, Care, People in Need, UNDP), mainly consists of capacity building and complementary investment support.

Results:

  • Law of Georgia on Agricultural Cooperatives
  • Agricultural Cooperatives Development Agency (ACDA)
  • Law of Georgia on Agricultural Cooperatives adopted.
  • Agricultural Cooperatives Development Agency (ACDA) established.
  •  More than 1500 agricultural cooperatives uniting over 13,000 farmers have been established and registered in ACDA agricultural cooperatives database.
  • Over 1000 agricultural cooperatives supported with over GEL 6 million grants through the state aid programmes.
  • Over 250 cooperatives received direct funding and technical assistance with over EUR 4 million through ENPARD implementing partner organisations (Oxfam, Mercy Corps, People in Need, CARE International, UNDP Georgia).
  • Up to 7000 farmers trained through ENPARD implementing partner organisations (Oxfam, Mercy Corps, People in Need, CARE International, UNDP Georgia).
The programme supported creation of the extension systems for the agriculture sector, based on district level consultation & information centres. The aim of the extension system is to improve farmers’ knowledge of best agricultural practices, new technologies, and demand/supply existing on national and international markets.

Results:

  • 59 consultation and information centres established throughout Georgia.
  • Extension services are now available in all districts of Georgia, providing specific information and support services to small farmers, and farmer groups.
  • The staff of all the consultation centres trained to better serve the needs of the farmers and the rural population.
  • More than 250,000 small farmers benefited from the consultation and advice provided by the MoA district centres.
  • Agricultural cooperatives registered with ACDA are receiving support in the form of training and preferential financial assistance.
Supports diversification of non-agricultural activities and the development and management of environmental resources that contribute to sustainable economic development.

Results:

➢  Rural Development Strategy of Georgia 2017-2020 and Action Plan for 2017 adopted on the basis of best practiced of rural development across Europe.
➢  Since 2015, three pilot rural development projects in three municipalities – Lagodekhi, Borjomi and Kazbegi – have been implemented following the model of European LEADER approach.
  • Local Action Groups (LAGs) have been established in Lagodekhi, Borjomi and Kazbegi municipalities.
  • Local Development Strategies have been developed in Lagodekhi, Borjomi and Kazbegi municipalities.
  • Overall EUR 3 million has been allocated by the EU for the rural development measures in all three municipalities.
  • With the three pilot rural development projects, EU has so far funded over 120 local business initiatives in the areas of agriculture, tourism, social and rural infrastructure and environment, providing better employment to over 1000 rural households, and improving living conditions of over 54,000 rural population.
  • In 2017, under ENPARD II, the existing three pilot projects were extended for another two years.
  • EU has additionally allocated EUR 3 million in the continuation of the three projects.  
➢  In 2016, under ENPARD II, three additional rural development projects were launched in Akhalkalaki, Dedoplistskaro and Tetritskaro following the model of European LEADER approach.
  • Local Action Groups (LAGs) have been established in Akhalkalaki, Dedoplistskaro and Tetritskaro municipalities.
  • All three projects are now developing Local Development Strategies.
  • By 2018, the projects will announce EU grant competitions to fund local business initiatives.
  • Overall EU has allocated EUR 6 million for the development measures in these three municipalities.
➢  In summer 2017, under ENPARD II, two more rural development projects were launched in Keda and Khulo in the autonomous republic of Adjara.
  • Local Action Groups (LAGs) are currently being formed in Keda and Khulo municipalities.
  • By 2018, the two projects will develop Local Development Strategies and announce EU grant competitions to fund local business initiatives.
  • Overall EUR 4 million has been allocated by the EU for the development measures in these two municipalities.