The FINANCIAL — A new grant support programme is now available to local farmers in the Racha-Lechkhumi region of north-western Georgia. The goal of the grant scheme is to support the modernisation and renovation of pig farms and the construction of ham smoking facilities.
Launched by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the funds are provided by the Austrian Development Agency through the EU-funded European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD), according to EU Neighbourhood Info.
The initiative aims to enhance local ownership of the rural development process, building capacity and providing resources and incentives for improving services in agriculture, ecotourism and other rural businesses, reports ENPARD.
Animal husbandry is an important agricultural sector in Georgia, especially in the mountainous region of Racha-Lechkhumi. While farmers in this region have a long tradition of swine farming, according to ENPARD, the sector has been heavily affected by repeated outbreaks of animal diseases, obsolete equipment and outdated farming methods.
The European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development was launched in 2012. The programme aims to boost the production of food and reduce rural poverty in Georgia. Besides the grants component, ENPARD also provides direct budget support to the Government of Georgia for the implementation of its agriculture sector strategy, and brings expertise and know-how to the authorities.