EU and Georgia Work to Foster Sustainable Rural Development

On June 15th, the EU and Georgia launched two projects with the goal of enhancing sustainable rural development in Georgia. Fully funded by the EU, the programs are part of the third phase of the European Neighborhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD). While the first phase is aimed at developing agricultural potential, the second and third phases are more focused on creating other economic opportunities. To achieve ENPARD’s goals of assisting development in rural areas, reducing poverty, and increasing economic opportunities for the rural population, both projects will have slightly different focuses. One project, “FOA support to Georgian agricultural sector under ENPARD-3” will work with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia (MEPA) to adopt policy that will help farmers and the rural population. This project has a budget of EUR 12 million, and consists of three main areas: grants to farmers and small business owners, technical assistance to the MEPA, and training activities for farmers. The other project, entitled, “ENPARD3: Improving Rural Development in Georgia” will work with the Georgian Government to improve rural areas’ non-agricultural sectors of the economy. This project has a budget of EUR 10 million.


Each program is indented to be implemented for five years. The initiation of both projects in Kobuleti on Friday was attended by heads of the ENPARD programme, EU officials, United Nations representatives, private companies, local farmers, and many others. At the launch, Director-General for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Christian Daniellson, discussed the EU’s focus for the projects; “In the coming five years, we will focus on the three main areas – the diversification of local economy, increased competitiveness of Georgian agriculture, and improvements in the environmental protection and sustainable management of natural resources”. Adopting the ENPARD’s program illustrates the strong relationship that Georgia holds with the EU.