On 14th of September, EU launched a new rural development project in Keda municipality. The EU-funded project “Optimising the Potential of Local Assets for Rural Development of Keda Municipality” is implemented by Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN) in partnership with the Center for Strategic Research and Development of Georgia (CSRDG), Institute of Democracy (IoD) and Austrian Institute for Regional Studies and Spatial Planning (ÖIR).
The project aims at diversification of the local economic activities, improving investment climate, and empower competitive agricultural and environmental practices in Keda Municipality via bottom-up strategic planning of rural development. It follows the earlier EU-supported rural development actions under ENPARD in Borjomi, Lagodekhi and Kazbegi municipalities. This year, EU launched rural development projects in five new municipalities including Keda, Khulo, Dedoplistskaro, Tetritskaro and Akhalkalaki municipalities.
At the launching event in Keda, opening speeches were delivered by CENN Executive Director Nana Janashia and Governor of Keda Municipality David Dumbadze. Presentation on the European Model for Rural Development in Georgia was made by the EU Delegation Project Manager for Environment and Rural Development Alvaro Ortega Aparicio. Mr. Aparicio highlighted the importance of sharing European experience in rural development for Georgia’s EU Association process and stated that the Delegation of European Union to Georgia, together with its local partners, will actively support the sustainability of this process.
In the framework of the meeting, ENPARD partners in Rural Development in pilot municipalities of Georgia shared their experience. Among the participants of the event were representatives of the Local and Central Governments of Georgia.
Nana Janashia, CENN Executive Director stated that “working with the local community on the implementation of the project related initiative is fundamentally important for CENN and its partners. Many interesting activities are planned in the coming years, including introduction of international best practices in the Keda villages.”
After closing of the meeting, invited guests had opportunity to experience unique hospitality of Keda together with locals and CENN team. The project will continue actively working with local communities in the villages of Keda to ensure participatory implementation of the next initiatives in upcoming years.
The EU is supporting agriculture and rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD Programme. Implemented since 2013 with a total budget of EUR 102 million, the main goal of ENPARD is to reduce rural poverty in Georgia. More information on ENPARD is available at: www.enpard.ge.