The FINANCIAL — The EBRD in Tbilisi, Georgia has launched an initiative to support the expansion of agri-lending in Georgia by training local Trainers who will subsequently deliver an agri-lending course at the Georgian State Agricultural University (GSAU).
This facility is in line with EBRD’s initiative to support agri-lending through local partner banks.
The Bank of Georgia, having successfully introduced new agri-lending products, agreed to sponsor a "Chair of Agricultural Lending" at the University.
To date, Georgian financial intermediaries focus on the more populated urban areas. As a result, large sections of the rural population, which in the main rely on agricultural activities, have little or no access to financial services. By supporting the capacity building of agri-lending in Georgia, the EBRD will aid the development of the human capital in this very crucial for Georgia sector.
"We welcome this EBRD’s initiative, as the lack of agrilending experts was a major obstacle for the expansion of our rural agrilending activities", said Mr. Vaja Menabde, Director of Micro Lending Department at the Bank of Georgia.
The initiative is being funded by the EBRD multi-donor Early Transition Countries Technical Fund which contributing $61,000. 12 trainers have been fully trained over a period of four months during 2007 which means that GSAU course can be delivered to agricultural students on a regular basis commencing with the new academic year in September 2007, and the onset of the peak agricultural lending period.