The European models in rural development were in focus of a discussion in Batumi on 13 December 2016, organized by the European Union (EU), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Ajara Autonomous Republic. The event was supported by the EU-funded European Neighbourhood Programme (ENPARD).
The workshop brought together members of the Rural Development Council and Working Group, including for the top officials of the Adjara Government (Ministry of Agriculture of Ajara; Ministry of Finance and Economy of Adjara; Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport of Adjara), Adjara Supreme Council and municipal authorities, as well as representatives of UNDP and invited experts in the field of rural development.
The workshop participants discussed effective mechanisms for implementing the Rural Development Strategy of Ajara. They paid special attention to the LEADER approach adopted in the EU countries to support engagement of citizens in rural development through the Local Action Groups (LAGs).
Ajara is the first of Georgia’s regions to formulate and start implementing rural development policies, which now serves as a pilot initiative for introducing a concept of rural development at the national level.
The Rural Development Strategy of Ajara has been formulated and adopted in 2015 with assistance from the European Union (EU) and UNDP. This complex document provides the vision of rural development in the region and reflects the needs and aspirations of the rural population based on economic, social and environmental objectives.
The European Union (EU) supports rural development in Georgia under the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD). The programme rolled out in 2013 with the aim to reduce rural poverty. Its total budget in Georgia for 2013-2019 amounts to Euro 102 million (over GEL 265 million). More information about ENPARD is available at: www.enpard.ge