Delegation of the European Union to Georgia

The EU commits a further €55 million for the development of agriculture and rural areas in Georgia

17/12/2020 - 06:17
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The fourth phase of the EU’s ENPARD programme will provide extended assistance in the food safety and SPS sector to enhance consumer protection and promote EU exports of Georgian products. The programme will also continue to support rural development to further improve living conditions for a larger proportion of the rural population in Georgia.

 
TBILISI. December 17, 2020 – The EU Ambassador to Georgia H.E. Carl Hartzell and the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Mr. David Zalkaliani today signed an agreement to kick off the fourth phase of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD IV) worth €55 million (approximately GEL 215 million). The Acting Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia Mr. Levan Davitashvili also attended the signature event. The programme aims to enhance consumer protection, promote EU exports and improve livelihoods of rural population in Georgia. It is part of the wider assistance package mobilized by the EU and Team Europe to support Georgia’s COVID-19 recovery
"Since 2013, the EU has been providing extensive support to make Georgia’s agriculture more competitive and to improve living standards in rural areas. Today we are happy to announce our continued cooperation with the government of Georgia under a new, fourth phase of the ENPARD programme. Through this programme, we hope to see more Georgian farmers, cooperatives, and small and medium size enterprises better equipped to produce high quality products and export more to the EU market. We will also support better infrastructure and services, growth of tourism, more effective public-private partnerships and a stimulus to entrepreneurship in rural areas, all with a view to creating new employment opportunities and to boosting economic growth,” stated Carl Hartzell, EU Ambassador to Georgia
“ENPARD programme brings concrete results for our country and particularly for our rural population. As a result of this program, the quality of products, the employment opportunities for our citizens and the EU exports are significantly improving. Even more important is the implementation of this programme at in the pandemic context. The financial support provided to Georgia under the fourth phase of ENPARD is part of the wider EU assistance supporting Georgia’s COVID-19 recovery,stated David Zalkaliani, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.
“Georgia is one of the outstanding countries of the Eastern Partnership that has successfully carried out all three phases of ENPARD programme. We believe that the fourth phase will be implemented successfully as well. This is a remarkable volume of assistance, € 55 million, of which € 31 million is going to be the direct budget support. However, a very important and efficient part of the assistance is a € 24 million technical and grant component, which is going to have a complementary effect on the implementation of our policy also developed in close partnership with the EU,” stated Levan Davitashvili, Acting Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia.
 
ENPARD IV will provide extended assistance in the food safety and sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) sector to enhance consumer protection for citizens of Georgia and to promote exports of Georgian products to EU Member States. ENPARD IV will build on the achievements of the Comprehensive Institution Building (CIB) programme and of previous ENPARD phases. It will provide further support to the National Food Agency (NFA) for improved inspection and control systems and for continuation of the legal approximation process including enforcement of newly adopted regulations. It will also support food business operators in their efforts to adapt to the sectoral reforms.
 
In addition, ENPARD IV will further support rural development and will improve living conditions for a larger proportion of the rural population in Georgia, rendering the rural development sector more dynamic and effectively contributing to Georgia’s economic and social development. The fourth phase of ENPARD will improve the economic and social integration of vulnerable households in disadvantaged rural regions of Georgia, including eco-migrants, conflict affected people, ethnic minorities, Georgian returnees and migrants. The action will continue to enhance civic participation in the regions of Georgia through increased civil society involvement in local decision-making processes and will continue to actively promote and encourage participation of youth and women, noting the specific needs and constraints of these groups.
 
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ENPARD IV follows the successful implementation of the previous three phases of the programme, which has brought tangible effects, including:
  • Over 1,000 agricultural cooperatives formed allowing farmers benefit from economies of scale;
  • 2,000 farmers in over 280 cooperatives benefitted from direct EU funding;
  • More than 8,000 farmers received EU-funded training on agricultural and business management;
  • 250,000 people received advice and training on modern farming through 59 Information and Consultation Centres and extension services established in the regions;
  • ENPARD has been instrumental in introducing the best European practices in rural development. Through close cooperation with civil society, public and private sector the programme has empowered local people so that they take the development of their communities into their own hands through Local Action Groups (LAGs). The LAGs were established in 12 municipalities, mobilizing communities and initiating various social and economic actions to improve lives in rural areas.
  • Through the LAGs, the EU has funded over 500 local initiatives that have helped diversify local economies, provided better employment to more than 1,000 rural households, and improved living conditions of over 10,000 rural population.
  • At the central level, the programme supported sectoral reforms and more efficient work of the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, implementing better policies, providing further support to farmers and people in rural areas.
The European Union is supporting agriculture and rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD programme. The support is grounded on the best European practices in the field and involves increasing quality, standards and overall competitiveness of agriculture, as well as improving livelihoods of rural communities through creating economic opportunities and promoting local public-private partnerships. Implemented since 2013, with a total budget of EUR 234.5 million so far, the main goal of ENPARD is to reduce rural poverty in Georgia. For more information please visit: www.enpard.ge    
 
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