EU Supports Georgia to Establish Rural Development Network

On July 26-27, a training workshop on EU rural networks was held in Batumi, organized by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) with the support of the European Union (EU). Up to 35 representatives of the Georgian Local Action Groups, ENPARD partner NGOs, government and international experts participated in the workshop.

This was the first visit for the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD) in Georgia, which will support the implementation of the National Rural Development Network in Georgia. The National Rural Development Strategy and Action Plan is supported by the EU, in partnership with the UNDP through the EU funded ENPARD program.

The ENPARD program was implemented in 2013, with a total budget of EUR 179.5M with the aim to reduce rural poverty in Georgia. The first phase consisted of developing the national agriculture potential. The second and third phases will focus on creating economic opportunities for rural population that go beyond agricultural activities.

The aim of implementing the Georgian Rural Development Network (GRDN) is to serve as a hub for exchanging information on how to devise a rural development policy, programs, projects and other initiatives and how it can further be improved to aid the development process.

The workshop facilitated an opportunity to network and share participant know-how in the rural development of their respective regions. Guests had the opportunity to discuss EU rural networks and give grounds to the establishment of the GRDN. Moreover, they were introduced to key drivers, objectives, membership and governance of the National Rural Networks in Europe. Finally, attendees familiarized themselves with the work of the European Network for Rural Development, coverings topics such as as smart and competitive rural areas, greening the rural economy, social inclusion and generational renewal.

“We attach high importance to the first ever visit of the ENRD Contact Point to Georgia. The knowledge and experience gained will give a stronger impulse to successful implementation of the Rural Development Strategy through effective stakeholder engagement,” said Nodar Kereselidze, the First Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia.

The training workshop also focused on European good practice and policy in action, showcasing the added value of LEADER and the practical benefits of rural development for now and in the future. "The workshop gives ample opportunity to learn about EU practices for rural development policy implementation ensured by a significant tool such as the Rural Development Network set up to contribute to the LEADER implementation in Georgia”, said Tite Aroshidze, Minister of Agriculture of Ajara AR.

By Anna Zhvania

Source: ENPARD



31 July 2018 10:59