The representatives of Latvian LAGs are planning to strengthen the cooperation with Tetritskaro, Borjomi and Lagodekhi LAGs

On 27 August, in the framework of RDFG’s project on Tetritskaro development implemented with the EU ENPARD support, the members of Latvian and Borjomi LAGs paid a visit to Tetritskaro LAG to discuss their future cooperation. The event was organised by RDFG and Mercy Corps.

Under the 4-day visit, Latvians travelled to Tetritskaro, Borjomi and Lagodekhi and met with the representatives of Mercy Corps, RDFG and CARE. The aim of the visit was to meet local LAGs, learn more about the potential of horse breeding development in the municipalities and provide the potential partners with the information about the new international co-operation project.

The new international co-operation project “EQUUS” studies the possibilities of horse use in tourism, sport and health. Latvians together with Estonian and Finnish LAGs are willing to build partnership with Georgian LAGs through this project. The aim of the project is to promote the competitiveness of Latvian stables, horse breeders, horse farms, tourism farms and their services by developing a network of cooperation with local and foreign horse breeders, promoting the exchange of good practice.

The representatives of RDFG and Tetritskaro LAG presented the strategy priorities of Tetritskaro development to the visitors and discussed the possibilities of horse tourism development in the region.

In Tetritskaro municipality that has a great potential for tourism development, many locals are running horse breeding farms. Under the visit, Latvians and Borjomi LAG members visited one of the horse farms and met with the local expert in this field. The farm offers 8-day cultural and horse tours to the visitors promoting tourism in the region.

The owner of the farm Levan says that the implementation of such projects in the region will support the promotion of horse breeding, tourism development and improvement of economic conditions of local population.

“Tetritskaro is known with its numerous historic and natural sights and landscape diversity that makes the municipality attractive for the visitors, but there are some remote areas not accessible by cars and using horses is not only useful to visit such places but makes the tour more exciting for the visitors as well. Many locals are running horse farms and the development of horse breeding and horse tourism will make this field more profitable for farmers and will support the employment of local population. This will also become an impetus to arrange camping spots in the region that will attract more tourists. Furthermore, development of horse breeding will support the formation of healthy lifestyle.”

Tourism is one of the priorities of Tetritskaro development that is reflected in the municipality development strategy as well elaborated by LAG and the cooperation with European LAGs and exchange of good practice will contribute to the achievement of these strategy objectives.

The project “Rural Development for Sustainable Growth of Tetritskaro Municipality” is implemented by Association Rural Development for Future Georgia (RDFG) in the framework of the second phase of European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD).

ENPARD II uses a LEADER approach to economic development. Fundamentally, it is the energy and resources of the local people that contribute to the rural development process by forming partnerships at a sub-regional level between the public, private and civil sectors. The LEADER approach is associated with local empowerment through local strategy development and resource allocation. The main tool for the application of the LEADER approach to area development and involving local representatives in decision-making is the Local Action Group (LAG).

The project partners are Agro-Technology Association (ATA), Lithuanian Local Action Groups Network and the Ministry of Agriculture of Lithuania.