Up to 25 representatives of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia (MEPA) and Rural Development Agency (RDA) together with UNDP consultants unveiled a plan for institutional reforms that support effective governance to plan, implement and enforce agriculture and rural development policy of Georgia in accordance with EU regulations and best practices.
MEPA is undertaking a series of changes in structure and major business processes to maximize organizational effectiveness in direct alignment with the national rural development policy objectives and EU approximation process. During the 2-day workshop, MEPA has made important decisions on its priorities for EU alignment and harmonization and for the establishment of the EU compliant governance system that will ensure improved effectiveness of Agriculture and Rural Development Policy for the rural population.
The main objective of the EU support is to enhance institutional capacities and effectiveness of relevant departments of MEPA and RDA through setting up a managing authority and a paying agency for rural development as well developing a national training mechanism. The process will be assured jointly by the European and national consultants in collaboration with the Ministry/RDA and respective structural units.
"The EU has been Georgia's strongest partner in terms of technical and financial support. Based on EU recommendations, the typical feature of the planned changes is that it will affect every organizational dimension of responsible departments/units of MEPA and RDA as well as work processes in relation to planning and implementation of the Agriculture and Rural Development Strategy and state support programmes. It cuts across sectors and fields and is part of Georgia’s overall strategic vision “More Europe in Georgia and More Georgia in Europe”, therefore, we stay consistent in our actions to strengthen relevant institutions and become better prepared for more cooperation with the EU,” said Levan Davitashvili, Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture.
The European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) has been implemented in Georgia since 2013, with a total budget of €179.5 million. Its first phase focused on developing the national agriculture potential, while the second and third phases aim to create economic opportunities for rural population that go beyond agricultural activities. More information on ENPARD is available at: www.enpard.ge.