25.05.2018 – Dairy and beef production along with wheat, maize, potatoes, vegetables, and fruits are among the most favourable pre-selected value chains reflected in the baseline study conducted by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with the support of EU. As part of the €12 million project under the EU-funded European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD III), FAO team provided groundwork for the support measures aiming at developing agricultural sectors and making value-chains more inclusive and sustainable in the eight targeted municipalities (Lagodekhi, Tetritskaro, Akhalkalaki, Dedoplistskaro, Kazbegi, Borjomi, Keda, Khulo) of Georgia.
FAO has been arranging field visits and focus group discussions in the regions to detect priority agricultural sectors for further investment and support. The information gathered has been analysed by the FAO experts and presented today at the working meeting with the ENPARD stakeholders and partners for further consideration. The attendees were encouraged to participate in the discussion and to provide their in-field, location-specific information and experience that will enhance the capacity of the FAO’s team to develop a vision and a strategy relevant to the complex nature and agricultural circumstances of each of the eight municipalities.
“Today, FAO’s team presented all the preliminary findings gathered in the municipalities. The study will be further revised according to the valuable suggestions, remarks and views that we received from the ENPARD partners. The workshop played an important role in developing a comprehensive and more complete picture of the state of agricultural and food value-chains in each of the eight municipalities,” said Javier SanzAlvarez, FAO-ENPARD Coordination Officer.
Based on the feedbacks from the stakeholders, FAO will choose a strategic approach for devising appropriate support systems and financial instruments for various value-chains. The study will further serve as an important pillar for the implementation of FAO’s pilot activities under the third phase of the EU-funded ENPARD programme, comprising various types of demonstration, information dissemination, engagement and other training activities for farmers. The project will also provide individual grants to small farmers, rural entrepreneurs, cooperatives and SMEs for investments to improve their overall competitiveness.
Programme Manager of the Delegation of European Union to Georgia, Attaché Mrs. Cristina Casella stressed the EU’s continuous commitment to help improve the lives of Georgian citizens through supporting agriculture and rural development in the country. “Over the past years, we have provided substantial assistance to the government in building the capacity of relevant institutions, improving policy-making and implementing innovative programmes. Within ENPARD’s third phase, we continue this assistance to help make the agricultural sector more competitive and develop the rural areas” stated Mrs. Casella.
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