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The Austrian Delegation Visited Keda Municipality in the Framework of ENPARD Project

The Austrian Delegation Visited Keda Municipality in the Framework of ENPARD Project

On 19-24 October 2019, with the organizational support of the Keda Local Action Group (LAG), the mayors, members of parliament and representatives of media outlets from different LEADER regions of Austria visited Keda Municiaplity of Adjara AR. The main purpose of the visit was to get acquainted with the activities carried out by the Keda LAG in the framework of the EU ENPARD project in Adjara, to share experience between the two countries and to discuss possibility of future cooperation.
During the visit, meetings were held with the Chairman of the Supreme Council of Ajara, the Ministers of Finance and Economy and Agriculture and representatives of the local municipality.
During the meeting with the representatives of the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara and the Ministry of Agriculture, representatives of the Austrian delegation discussed the importance of deepening relations and cooperation between the two countries. Special attention was given to the LEADER approach, as an efficient instrument of regional development. 
 The Minister of Agriculture of Adjara, Tite Aroshidze, introduced the Austrian visitors with the opportunities and potential directions of development of the region, and emphasized the importance of using the European LEADER approach in rural development. “Sharing European experiences, implementing EU supported projects and supporting the LEADER approach is vital to the development of rural areas in the region of Adjara,” – stated the Minister. 
Giorgi Abuladze, Chair of Keda LAG, spoke about the importance of partnership with Austrians within the ENPARD project. “Austrian partners support our project development. The Local Development Strategy (LDS) and LAG of the project KedaLEADER were developed according to the Austrian experience. The opportunity to share the Austrian experience is crucial to the successful implementation of our project,” – underlined Mr. Abuladze.
 Austrian delegation also visited Khulo LAG, held an informational meeting and visited projects implemented by Khulo Local Action Group.
The EU-supported ENPARD project is implemented by CENN in partnership with the Centre for Strategic Research and Development of Georgia (CSRDG), Institute of Democracy (IoD) and the Austrian Institute for Regional Studies and Spatial Planning (ÖIR). The project aims to diversify local economic activities, improve the investment climate, and empower competitive agricultural and environmental practices in Keda Municipality via bottom-up strategic planning in rural development.
The EU is supporting agriculture and rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD Programme. Implemented since 2013 with a total budget of EUR 179.5 million, the main goal of ENPARD is to reduce rural poverty in Georgia. The first phase of ENPARD in Georgia focused on developing the potential of agriculture. The second and third phases of ENPARD focus on creating economic opportunities for rural populations that go beyond agricultural activities. More information on ENPARD is available at: www.enpard.ge.