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Review of EU-supported Agriculture and Rural Development Initiatives

EU-funded and supported agricultural and rural development programmes in Georgia, including wine sector reform initiated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) under the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD), were the main topics of discussion during the high-profile meeting held on 14th of March.

The EU mission led by Susana Marazuela Azpiroz, DG AGRI Head of Unit A5 – Neighbourhood and Enlargement met the Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia Levan Davitashvili.

At the event, the EU mission was introduced to the main achievements under EU-funded agriculture and rural development initiatives implemented in Georgia since 2013. Minister Davitashvili stressed the importance of the EU’s support and commitment to help improve the lives of Georgians and reduce rural poverty in the country. He spoke about the implementation of the agriculture and rural development strategies in Georgia and underlined the EU’s crucial support in this process. The Minister stated that agriculture and rural development remains a key priority within the restructured Ministry and thanked the EU Delegation for continuous support.

The participants of the event also discussed EU’s technical assistance programmes supported by FAO to improve capacities in the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia. Special attention was paid to the ongoing process of discussing new institutional models for the reformation of the wine sector in Georgia. Private-public partnership governance models specifically created for the Georgian wine sector was recently introduced by FAO under ENPARD. The reform is expected to lead to a better coordination among the Georgian wine institutions and the overall development of the country’s wine sector competitiveness.

Susana Marazuela Azpiroz welcomed the Ministry’s successful work in the areas of agriculture and rural development and continuous cooperation with EU.

In the framework of the visit, EU delegation members visited the national Wine Agency and got acquainted with its activities.

The event was attended by the First Deputy Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture, Nodar Kereselidze, Head of National Wine Agency of Georgia, Giorgi Samanishvili, Head of Cooperation at EU Delegation to Georgia, Vincent Rey and FAO-ENPARD Coordination officer Javier Sanz Alvarez.

The European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) is recognised as one of the most successful agriculture and rural development initiatives funded by the European Union in Georgia. The first phase of ENPARD in Georgia focused on developing the potential of agriculture. The second and the third phases focus on creating diversified economic opportunities for rural population that go beyond agricultural activities. More information on ENPARD is available at: www.enpard.ge.