On 11 September 2017, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) brought together the stakeholders and implementing partners of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) for the 14th ENPARD stakeholders’ meeting. The gathering aimed to share the updates within the EU supported ENPARD projects and to discuss the new developments within the ENPARD family.
The meeting was opened by Ms. Khatia Tsilosani, Head of International Relations Department of the Minister of Agriculture of Georgia. She summarized the ongoing activities under ENPARD II Phase and updated the participants on the recent achievements of the agricultural and rural development projects under ENPARD II.
Mrs. Cristina Casella, Attache, Programme Manager at the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia updated the stakeholders about the state of the projects under ENPARD I and ENPARD II. Mr. Alvaro Ortega, Attaché, Rural Development Programme Manager at the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia informed the meeting participants on the state of the current rural development projects supported by the EU within ENPARD II and also touched upon the progress made in the negotiations on ENPARD III.
The round table on the “topic of the day”, this time dedicated to research and innovation in agriculture was presented by the Programme Officer for FAO-ENPARD Projects in Georgia, Javier Sanz Alvarez. The discussion was centered on how to better link the research with the field work, and adapt new approaches and innovations by practitioners, in this case NGOs, to improve the support that is provided to the farming community in Georgia. The use of modern IT innovations, of improved seed varieties that may be resistant to certain pests or diseases, or the improved techniques for weather forecast, linking with satellite imagery, can provide for significant improvements in farming techniques or improved information. ENPARD stakeholders shared their opinions on the topic and experiences, as well as possible concrete applications in their day-to-day work.
FAO and UNDP presented the results and findings of the missions to the LEADER municipalities, where they were able to discuss with the members of the Local Action Groups and local representatives and stakeholders, opening a very fruitful space for collaboration between the LEADER partners in these municipalities under ENPARD III.
The meeting was concluded with the updates of the ENPARD implementing partner organizations representatives of UNDP, Mercy Corps, Care, PIN, Oxfam, RDFG, HEKS-EPER, GIPA and others updated the audience on the progress within their projects.
The meeting was also attended by other donor organizations that also briefed on their activities in support to Georgia’s agriculture and rural sectors.
The European Union is supporting agriculture and rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD Programme. Implemented since 2013 with a total budget of EUR 102 million (2013-2019), the main goal of ENPARD is to reduce rural poverty in Georgia. More information on ENPARD is available at: www.enpard.ge.