On October 3, 2019, the 4-year ENPARD project Finance & Extension & Cooperative Development for Georgian Farmers (FinExCoop Georgia) was launched. The project aiming to improve access to finance and agricultural extension services by small farms and cooperatives in Georgia is funded by EU and L’Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) with a total budget of EUR 4 million and implemented in partnership with the Association Rural Development for Future Georgia (RDFG), Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, and Mercy Corps.
The conference was officially opened by George Khanishvili, First Deputy Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, and George Dehoux, Programme Manager for Agriculture and Food Safety at the Delegation of the European Unioin to Georgia.
“This new project will bring a significant additional dimension to the current EU support to Georgia’s agricultural development by enabling small and medium-size farming enterprises to better deal with current strategic sector challenges and by making the most of emerging market opportunities like those created by the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the European Union“, – stated Georges Dehoux, Programme Manager for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Safety at the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia.
At the launching event, Samantha Guthrie, RDFG Grants Acquisition and Monitoring Coordinator, has also delivered a speech about RDFG’s role in the project:
“RDFG is proud to represent the NGO sector, along with our partners Mercy Corps, within this project. Having local implementing partners is critical for ensuring sustainability and effectiveness. We are passionate about farmer-to-farmer methodologies, and the pilot projects that will be created are a great example of the power of demonstration for the adoption of new technologies and methods. Additionally, much of our work focuses on youth, and introducing new technologies into the Georgian agriculture sector will help attract and retain youth to agricultural work, which opens new livelihood opportunities for rural areas”.
The conference brought together key stakeholders in Georgia’s agricultural sector to inform them on the objectives and expected results of the project and to receive feedback from other actors active in the field. Representatives of the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia, L’Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD), Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, Association Rural Development for Future Georgia (RDFG), international donors and financial institutions, international and local NGOs, leading agricultural cooperatives and unions participated in the event.
This project is part of a global program aiming at improving financial inclusiveness and access to market for small-scale commercial farmers. The first component was financed by Proparco, AFD’s subsidiary dedicated to the private sector, through agro-credit lines extended to two major Georgian financial institutions.
The EU is supporting agriculture and rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD Programme. Implemented since 2013 with a total budget of EUR 179.5 million, the main goal of ENPARD is to provide economic opportunities in rural area and reduce poverty in Georgia. More information on ENPARD is available at:www.enpard.ge.
Nina Kopaleishvili – Communications Officer, email@example.com