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EU and AFD launch a new ENPARD project to support small-scale commercial farms and cooperatives in Georgia

EU and AFD launch a new ENPARD project to support small-scale commercial farms and cooperatives in Georgia

3 October 2019, Tbilisi – Access to finance by small-scale farms and cooperatives in Georgia were discussed at a project launch conference held in Tbilisi Marriott today. The 4-year project “Finance & Extension & Cooperative Development for Georgian Farmers (FinExCoop Georgia)” is funded by EU and L’Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) under the ENPARD Programme with a total budget of EUR 4 million. It aims at improving access to finance and agricultural extension services by small farms and cooperatives in Georgia. The project is implemented in partnership with Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, Mercy Corps and Rural Development for Future Georgia (RDFG).   
The conference was officially opened by Mr. George Khanishvili, First Deputy Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, Mr. Georges Dehoux, Programme Manager for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Safety at the Delegation of the European Unioin to Georgia and Ms. Gaëlle Assayag, Head of AFD’s regional office for the South Caucasus.
“This new project will bring a significant additional dimension to the current EU support to Georgia’s agricultural development by enabling small and medium-size farming enterprises to better deal with current strategic sector challenges and by making the most of emerging market opportunities like those created by the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the European Union.” – stated Mr. Georges Dehoux, Programme Manager for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Safety at the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia.  
The conference brought together key stakeholders in Georgia’s agricultural sector to inform them on the objectives and expected results of the project and to receive feedback from other actors active in the field. Representatives of the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia, L’Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD), Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, ENPARD implementing partners, international donors and financial institutions, international and local NGOs, leading agricultural cooperatives and unions took part in the event.  
This project is part of a global program aiming at improving financial inclusiveness and access to market for small-scale commercial farmers. The first component was financed by Proparco, AFD’s subsidiary dedicated to the private sector, through agro-credit lines extended to two major Georgian financial institutions. 
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 provide economic opportunities in rural area and reduce poverty in Georgia. More information on ENPARD is available at: www.enpard.ge.
AFD is an inclusive public financial institution and the main actor in France’s development policy. AFD works in many sectors – agriculture, energy, health, biodiversity, water, digital technologies – and its action is fully in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2018, it earmarked EUR 11.4bn to finance development projects. 
AFD’s commitment in Georgia was first materialized in 2016. Since then, AFD and the Government of Georgia have established a flourishing collaboration with an active portfolio of 250 million of euros of engagements.