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ENPARD stakeholders discuss establishment of Network of Demonstration Plots and a Working Group on Climate Smart Agriculture

ENPARD stakeholders discuss establishment of Network of Demonstration Plots and a Working Group on Climate Smart Agriculture

10.06.2019 – FAO brought together the stakeholders and implementing partners of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) for the 21st  ENPARD Stakeholders’ Meeting. The gathering aimed to share the updates within the EU supported agricultural and rural development projects, focusing on the youth migration in rural areas and challenges agriculture faces due to climate change.
In her opening speech Ms. Khatia Tsilosani, Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia briefed the meeting participants on the implementation of the strategies of Agriculture Development, Rural Development and Extension. Tsilosani also informed about establishment of the Agricultural and Rural Development Agency (ARDA), which will be the agency in charge of extension, cooperatives and management of projects in the field of agriculture and rural development.
As a result of the recent hail damages in Shida Kartli, she also highlighted the importance of agricultural insurance, in order to support farmers and cooperatives in developing more sustainable agricultural production in Georgia.
EU Delegation representative, Ms. Cristina Casella, Agricultural Attaché overviewed the ongoing and new agricultural and rural development initiatives in Georgia financed by ENPARD. She briefed the stakeholders on the status of the implementation of the third phase of ENPARD as well as formulation of new, ENPARD IV phase, which will continue to support rural development in Georgia as well as food safety issues.
The welcome addresses were followed by FAO proposal to create a network of demonstration plots to intensify extension services in Georgia. Within the scope of this network of demo plots, different actors, public and private, would cooperate and coordinate their actions to showcase best agricultural practices to farmers. FAO representatives also presented a review of the tea sector in Georgia, while CARE International introduced the new concept of strengthening cooperatives in Georgia by establishing the Cooperative Fund.
The ENPARD partners discussed the possibilities to prevent youth migration to cities in Georgia, and agreed to dedicate more efforts to fight against youth migration.
Finally, the ENPARD partners also discussed the need to intensify the work on climate-smart agriculture at different levels as a means to reduce the impact of climate change in Georgia. For this purpose, MEPA offered to take the lead with the creation of a Working Group on Climate Smart Agriculture that will coordinate the efforts of the different partners.
The meeting was attended by the representatives of the ENPARD implementing partner organizations – UNDP, FAO, Mercy Corps, Care, PIN, RDFG, HEKS-EPER, GIPA, CENN, Caritas Czech Republic, Action Against Hunger, but also colleagues from Czech and Austrian Cooperation agencies, USDA, USAID and others.
The European Union is supporting 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 focus on creating economic opportunities for the rural population that go beyond agricultural activities. More information on ENPARD is available at: www.enpard.ge