Strengthening capacities of stakeholders for the implementation of the Strategy for Agricultural Development in Georgia 2015-2020 and the Rural Development Strategy of Georgia 2017-2020
At impact level, the project aims to contribute to increased competitiveness of the agricultural sector, increased food production and reduction of rural poverty with focus on reduction of inequality.
At outcome level, the project will contribute to increased competitiveness of agriculture and rural development by supporting the implementation of the Strategy for Agricultural Development in Georgia 2015-2020 and the Strategy for Rural Development 2017-2022 through policy support and small-scale investment measures.
The project's expected outputs are:
Output 1: Capacity of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture and other relevant staff related to gender-sensitive and socially inclusive rural development policy and community development planning improved.
Output 2: Agricultural extension services improved through enhanced capacity of central and decentralized Information and Consultation Centres to provide community needs-based services and brokerage in an inclusive and participatory manner.
Output 3: Policies and practices related to environmentally friendly agriculture and sustainable ecosystems in rural areas developed based on promotion of Good Agricultural Practices, new environmentally friendly practices as well as establishment of demonstration plots.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture (MEPA) of Georgia, the regional departments of agriculture, the local authorities, the Information and Consultation Centres (ICCs) and the agricultural service providers will be the project stakeholders as well as beneficiaries, as these are the institutions responsible for the support of extension services, climate smart agriculture and rural development.
Farmers, farmers’ associations, farmers’ cooperatives, other farmer formed entities, vocational education centers, Local Initiative Groups and Local Action Groups, community leaders, rural families, research institutions and private sector stakeholders will be the ultimate beneficiaries.
The project aims to reach up to 13,330 direct beneficiaries and will work to ensure that at least 30 percent of the project's direct beneficiaries are women.
Activities under Output 1 aim at developing sustainable gender sensitive and socially inclusive models for agriculture and community development in mountainous areas, especially in disadvantaged areas.
This will include, amongst others, facilitation of trainings of farmers and local authorities in participatory integrated community development, technical support to addressing good production practices, and innovative small-scale investment projects for agriculture and rural tourism in line with local development plans and action plans.
Activities under Output 2 include support to the MEPA and other stakeholders to implement the agricultural extension strategy in Georgia and to strengthen capacities to improve agricultural extension services of the ICCs.
Output 3 will have a twofold dimension. The first dimension focuses on policy dialogue based on agri-environmental issues and sustainable ecosystems, namely on the introduction of climate smart agriculture practices, climate risk projection tools, practices mapped and materials developed for distribution to ICCs and farmers. The second dimension focuses on awareness raising and stakeholder engagement focused on introduction of environmentally friendly practices in pasture management, development of Good Agricultural Practices, demonstration plots, publications etc. for smallholder farmers.
Throughout the project implementation the approach adopted will be one of inclusive participation, engagement and ownership. As far as practically possible, both genders and all ethnic and social groups will be equally engaged, so existing burdens that may limit their meaningful participation in and benefit from the project will be identified and pro-actively addressed, as specified in the gender mainstreaming and social inclusion strategy of the project. Particular focus will be given to capacity development within government and advisory agents that support the development of agriculture and rural communities, to enable sustainability and to maximize impact.
There is a strong consensus in Georgia among the government, the international community, all of the major opposition parties and private businesses that without serious and rapid progress in agriculture and rural development, Georgia’s economic growth might prove unsustainable in the medium to long term. Agricultural and rural development offers investment opportunities and is essential for the development of the country as a whole and particularly for employment, growth, poverty reduction, income diversification and food security.
The present project will build on the results of previous donor support interventions in the sphere of agriculture in Georgia. It is aligned with the objectives and approach of the EU's initiative “European Neighborhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development II” (ENPARD II). It complements ENPARD II through focusing on the assistance in areas which will not be covered by the ENPARD technical assistance project.