USAID’s Melia Meets Gori Beneficiaries

Thomas O. Melia, US Agency for International Development (USAID) Assistant Administrator for Europe and Eurasia had his first visit to Georgia this week, in the frames of which he traveled to Gori and visited the AgroKartli Farmer’s Service Center and CAMPA juice processing enterprise.

In Gori, Mr. Melia and USAID’s Caucasus Mission Director, Douglas H. Ball, met beneficiaries of USAID at the AgroKartli Center and attended training held for local farmers on ‘Principles of Intensive Cultivation of Fruit Orchards’ that aimed at enhancing their knowledge on ensuring a better harvest and building richer agriculture.

“The US government and USAID have been helping farmers and businessmen to modernize their agricultural technique and improve marketing abilities to provide reliable income and reliable jobs for people in the community. As we help those people, we direct the Georgian market to Western audiences,” Melia said.

AgroKartli fosters agriculture development on the administrative demarcation line in Gori and South Ossetia villages.

Mariam Kandrolashvili, one of the beneficiaries, sets high hopes on USAID in terms of agriculture development.

“My field is agriculture and I’m very interested in its development. USAID promised to help us to grow healthier products that can be good for export to Europe. But for me, it’s more important to sell them here first,” Kandrolashvili told GEORGIA TODAY.

AgroKartli is a Farmer’s Service Center supporting the five-year USD 19.5 million USAID project of ‘Restoring Efficiency to Agriculture Production.’ The Center focuses on rural employment, increasing revenues, farm investment and assisting agribusiness technically.

CAMPA, one of the leading juice processing enterprises in Georgia, has been in full and successful operation since 2008. With the help of the USAID ‘Restoring Efficiency to Agriculture Production’ project, the enterprise increased production, adding sea-buckthorn and barberry juice to its line of production.

Thomas Melia, with the US delegation, highlighted bilateral cooperation in developing agriculture, intellectual property rights, energy security, innovation, and entrepreneurship, as well as assistance in implementing economic reforms and Georgia’s Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement.

Meri Taliashvili

14 April 2016 20:01