Forty journalists from the lead Georgian media attended a seminar in Kvareli, on 17-18 March 2018, to learn about Georgia’s strategic priorities in rural development and the 2018-2020 strategy and action plan.
The seminar was organised by the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, supported by the European Union (EU) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
“Rural development is a new, though strategically important, concept for Georgia. Its implementation will affect key areas of the country’s development, including economy, environment protection, social issues and agriculture. Open and transparent cooperation with civil society and the media is of utmost importance as we move forward in the implementation of the 2018-2020 strategy and action plan,” said Levan Davitashvili, Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, in his welcome remarks to the journalists.
Nodar Kereselidze, First Deputy Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, informed the journalists about the country’s progress in introducing and implementing new policies. He also focused on the practical experience of the European countries and the ways to adapt it to Georgia’s realities.
With the support of EU, Georgia adopted its first national Rural Development Strategy and Action Plan in December 2016, following an inclusive nation-wide discussion between the national, local and parliamentary authorities, civil society, private sector and international organizations. The Strategy aims to lead the country to the European model of rural development, focusing on the growth and diversification of local economies, improvement of social and public services, sustainable use of natural resources and citizen engagement in the development process.
The implementation of the national Rural Development Strategy and Action Plan is supported by the European Union (EU) and UNDP through the EU’s wider programme, ENPARD. Aiming to reduce rural poverty in Georgia, ENPARD has been implemented since 2013, with the total budget of EUR 179.5 million. Its first phase focused on developing the national agriculture potential, while the second and third phase focus on creating economic opportunities for rural population that go beyond agricultural activities. More information on ENPARD is available at: www.enpard.ge.