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ENPARD stakeholders discussed trade of agricultural products

ENPARD stakeholders discussed trade of agricultural products

On 4 December 2018, FAO brought together the stakeholders and implementing partners of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) for the 19th  ENPARD Stakeholders’ Meeting. The gathering aimed to share the updates within the EU supported agricultural and rural development projects, focusing on the opportunities and overview of trading with the Georgian agricultural products throughout the world.
In his opening speech Mr. Nodar Kereselidze, First Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture briefed the meeting participants on the implementation of the Strategy of Agriculture Development and Rural Development Strategy and their respective Action Plans. Nodar Kereselidze also informed about the upcoming merge of Agricultural Cooperatives Development Agency (ACDA) and Agricultural Projects Management Agency (APMA), as well as anticipated reforms within the agricultural extension system, which tends to be an important component for enhancing agricultural production in Georgia. He also highlighted the state support to the development of agricultural cooperatives in milk and wine sectors, and measures for increasing Georgia’s agricultural export potential.  
EU Delegation representatives, Ms.Cristina Casella, Programme Manager and Agricultural Attaché and Ms. Ketevan Khutsishvili, Programme Manager for Rural Development overviewed ongoing and new agricultural and rural development initiatives in Georgia.  They briefed the stakeholders on the status of the implementation of ENPARD, including the programme’s budget support, as well as ongoing and upcoming new grant components.
The welcome addresses were followed by the presentations from the ENPARD partners – UNDP, CENN and Georgian Association of LAGs (GALAG), promoting new tools, ideas and innovative ways of supporting agricultural and rural development, as well as integrating climate actions into ENPARD rural development projects.
Special attention was paid to the topic of the day – Trade of Agricultural Products. International School of Economics at TSU Policy Institute (ISET) delivered the South Caucasus Trade Study which showed the major findings related to agriculture products and gave key recommendations on active development of trade infrastructure, thus, lowering transportation costs, offering new trade and production opportunities, supporting the development of logistics capacity and smaller scale regional transport, storage and logistic projects.
ENPARD partners also discussed the efficiency of the trade missions in Georgia, focusing on the results of the recent Dutch trade mission and evaluating how probable it is that the concrete follow-up steps will follow the trade missions in Georgia.
The meeting was attended by the representatives of the ENPARD implementing partner organizations – UNDP, Mercy Corps, Care, PIN, RDFG, HEKS-EPER, GIPA, CENN, Caritas Czech Republic, Oxfam 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