ACF - Member of Big ENPARD Consortium
ENPARD - New Type of Project in Georgia
The European Neighborhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) was launched in Georgia in 2013 with the aim to reinvigorate the agriculture and the rural sector in the country by supporting the Government’s Agriculture Sector Strategy, strengthening small farmer’s organizations and enabling sustainable rural development. ENPARD is composed of a variety of aid modalities, from direct budget support to the Government, through technical assistance and small grants to NGOs. The total budget for ENPARD in Georgia, covering the period of 2013-2018, is € 102 million.
ACF South Caucasus mission in consortium comprise with 4 NGOs (ACF, Oxfam, ELKANA and RCDA) started implementation of the project – “Towards a New Direction- Supporting Agricultural Cooperatives in Georgia” in February, 2014. The project funded by EU covers 13 municipalities in 5 Regions of Georgia. The main objective of the project is to contribute to increased productivity in Georgian agriculture and a reduction in rural poverty and to support the establishment and strengthening of business-oriented farmers groups to promote increased effectiveness and competitiveness of small farmers in the agricultural economy.
ACF within the framework of the project targets 7 Municipalities in 3 regions (Kvemo Kartli, Kakheti & Samegrelo Zemo-Svaneti). The agriculture cooperatives supported by the project operating in the following fields: Hazelnut production /mechanization /processing, potato farming/storage facilities, grape farming, apiculture, vegetable farming/greenhouse/ cooling storage and crop production/mechanization.
8 Demo Plots have been established in the framework of the project in ACF 7 target municipalities; demonstration of new and innovative farming techniques and technologies utilizing the cost effective tools can be easily replicated by local farmers.
ACF has increased and developed the technical knowledge and understanding of farmers in their specific sector and on sustainable agriculture in general. A training curriculum for each value chain has been developed based upon information derived from initial meetings with the groups and identified gaps in target farmers’ knowledge and learning.
ACF has also supported study tours and exchange visits with co-operatives. As the idea of cooperation is only just emerging in Georgia, it has been beneficial for farmers groups to meet successful co-operatives from other countries so that groups could learn from the experience of these co-operatives, including the constraints and benefits encountered.
The project is promoting investments from the private sector in value chain development, where there is a recognized business interest. Additionally, the Local Authorities focal point methodology allows for increased networking and coordination between the LAs, farmers groups and the business sector; Environmentally-friendly approaches, with regards to land use, cultivation techniques, application of fertilizers and pesticides and irrigation/water management also are promoted. Sustainable management is supported through the integration of approaches to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation to promote the concept of resilient communities.