The FINANCIAL — Up to 25 representatives of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia (MEPA) and Rural Development Agency (RDA) together with UNDP consultants unveiled a plan for institutional reforms that support effective governance to plan, implement and enforce agriculture and rural development policy of Georgia in accordance with EU regulations and best practices. Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture Levan Davitashvili said that Georgia stays consistent in its actions to strengthen relevant institutions and become better prepared for more cooperation with the EU.
MEPA is undertaking a series of changes in structure and major business processes to maximize organizational effectiveness in direct alignment with the national rural development policy objectives and EU approximation process. During the 2-day workshop, MEPA has made important decisions on its priorities for EU alignment and harmonization and for the establishment of the EU compliant governance system that will ensure improved effectiveness of Agriculture and Rural Development Policy for the rural population.
The European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) has been implemented in Georgia since 2013, with a total budget of €179.5 million. Its first phase focused on developing the national agriculture potential, while the second and third phases aim to create economic opportunities for rural population that go beyond agricultural activities.
The main objective of the EU support is to enhance institutional capacities and effectiveness of relevant departments of MEPA and RDA through setting up a managing authority and a paying agency for rural development as well developing a national training mechanism. The process will be assured jointly by the European and national consultants in collaboration with the Ministry/RDA and respective structural units.
“The EU has been Georgia’s strongest partner in terms of technical and financial support. Based on EU recommendations, the typical feature of the planned changes is that it will affect every organizational dimension of responsible departments/units of MEPA and RDA as well as work processes in relation to planning and implementation of the Agriculture and Rural Development Strategy and state support programmes. It cuts across sectors and fields and is part of Georgia’s overall strategic vision “More Europe in Georgia and More Georgia in Europe”, therefore, we stay consistent in our actions to strengthen relevant institutions and become better prepared for more cooperation with the EU,” said Levan Davitashvili, Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture.
The European Union (EU) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) have assisted Georgian eco-migrant Giorgi Abuladze to expand his broccoli farm. Abuladze has enlarged his broccoli farm in Tsalka, in eastern Georgia with support from the EU and FAO. He was able to plant broccoli on a larger plot and expand local vegetable production. He believes his yield will soon increase significantly and he will be able to sell his products to supermarkets, agenda.ge reported.
In August of 2020, it was announced that with state and USAID financial support a new hazelnut enterprise established in Kvareli. A new hazelnut collection, processing, and storage farm will serve about 300 farmers in the Kakheti region and employ 16 local residents. The enterprise was built with support from the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, the Agricultural and Rural Development Agency, Ferrero, and the Georgian Hazelnut Improvement Project.