In the frame of the GRETA project, the EU, Sweden and Austria launched the Local Development Initiative (LDI), to create great economic opportunities in the organic agriculture sector for farmers, farmer groups, cooperatives, processing units as well as other actors along various organic value chains.
The initiative aims at applicants from project targeted municipalities (Mestia, Lentekhi, Tsageri, Oni, Ambrolauri, Sachkhere, Chiatura and Tkibuli), including small-scale processors (farmers, farming families, farmer formal/informal groups, sole entrepreneurs, family agricultural business holders, cooperatives, farmer groups) that are based outside of those municipalities but purchase their organic products from the region can also participate in the Local Development Initiative.
The size of the Local Development Initiative (LDI) support per applicant or group of applicants shall be between GEL 5 000 and GEL 150 000 with the co-financing share at minimum 10% of the total budget.
Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia Carl Hartzell stated: “Support to Georgian economic recovery is one of the priorities for the European Union. This country has great potential for organic agriculture due to its high elevation and exceptional biodiversity. Georgia’s agricultural potential remains underutilized, due to insufficient capacities, lack of access to agricultural inputs, credits, markets and information. The Local Development Initiative is a timely step to assist in addressing some of these challenges. Giving new opportunities to local smallholder farmers and small-scale processors are key components for smart rural development.”
Ambassador of Sweden to Georgia Ulrik Tideström emphasized: “We believe that joining forces gives better results. That is why the EU, Sweden and Austria have united behind the GRETA project to support smallholder farmers and small-scale processors, especially from high mountain rural areas. In these challenging times the need for this kind of support is even greater. I am happy to note that the GRETA project managed to continue and advance its operation successfully in the current situation and contributes to employment and income opportunities and sustainable development”.
Austrian Ambassador to Georgia Arad Benkö underlined: “Agriculture is the priority sector for Austria in cooperation with Georgia, and in the middle of this crisis we see that agriculture is more and more important. Co-financing opportunities, experience sharing, agricultural input supplies and equipment to smallholder farmers and small-scale processors nowadays are one of the most important actions to economic recovery to be supported”.
Applicants fulfilling below mentioned criteria are encouraged to be involved in the Local Development Initiative:
SMEs or cooperatives that produce, process, or sell organic products, or who want to transition from conventional agricultural production to organic production.
A binding declaration must be given that organic farming practices will be used and that organic certification is the goal of the enterprise or of the group;
Smallholder farmers (individuals) seeking to start, diversify or expand into organic production and that enter into a binding declaration towards organic certification;
Farmer groups that have a formal cooperative type of organization or who have a proven history of cooperation and want to become certified organic;
Individual marketing enterprises that have a proven record of selling organic products or that wish to move into the organic produce market;
Organic farming input suppliers (that supply organic seeds or planting materials, organically certified natural pesticides, composting materials, organic feed, etc.)
Due to the current pandemic situation, for preventing COVID-19 spreading, only online submissions are available
The Application (express of interest - EoI) Form can be found here: LINK;
The application deadline is 25 May 2020 (16:00 Tbilisi time).
Fully filled application form (“Expression of Interest” EoI) in Georgian should be submitted to email@example.com.
Background Information about the GRETA project
GRETA, a four-year project of Sustainable Mountain Tourism & Organic Agriculture, focuses on the support of Georgian small and medium enterprises to professionalise and scale up. The action will also facilitate an improvement of the business environment and the creation of new income opportunities in the two growth sectors: mountain tourism and organic agriculture. The 6.8 Mio. € project is co-funded by the EU and the two EU member states Sweden and Austria. Further information about the project can be found HERE.
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