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The event was opened by Nodar Kereselidze, First Deputy Minister of Agriculture of Georgia and Chairman of the Inter-Agency Coordination Council, who highlighted the importance of making rural development an integral part of the governmental programmes in all sectors of economic and social development.
Recognising rural development challenges in Georgia, the workshop participants focused on the effective implementation of the national Rural Development Strategy 2017-2020, elaboration of the Rural Development Action Plan for 2018-2020, and on the further steps to be made on the national, regional and municipal levels.
The main theme of the workshop was to identify the best suitable model for integrated rural development policy in Georgia and to ensure its alignment with the European Union Policy Framework on Rural Development.
“The examples of the European countries prove that effective rural development provides countless opportunities for addressing the immediate needs of people all over the country, combating poverty and inequality, increasing the standard of education, healthcare and environment protection, and ensuring the inclusive economic growth for all. A comprehensive policy framework, which promotes inter-sectoral coordination and stronger partnerships, is an important step forward to achieving these goals.”
– Kaido Sirel, Deputy Head of Cooperation Section of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Georgia.
The workshop of the Inter-Agency Coordination Council of Georgia for Rural Development took place in the framework of the European Union's Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) and was supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia.
The European Union is supporting rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD Programme. Implemented since 2013 with a total budget of EUR 102 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 phase focuses on creating economic opportunities for rural population that go beyond agricultural activities. More information on ENPARD is available at: http://www.enpard.ge