The EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzell and the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia David Zalkaliani today signed an agreement to kick off the fourth phase of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD IV) worth €55 million (approximately GEL 215 million).
The Acting Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia Levan Davitashvili also attended the signing.
According to the EU Delegation to Georgia, the program aims to enhance consumer protection, promote EU exports, and improve the livelihoods of the rural population in Georgia. It is part of the wider assistance package mobilized by the EU and Team Europe to support Georgia’s COVID-19 recovery.
“Since 2013, the EU has been providing extensive support to make Georgia’s agriculture more competitive and improve living standards in rural areas. Today, we are happy to announce our continued cooperation with the government of Georgia under a new, fourth phase of the ENPARD program. Through this program, we hope to see more Georgian farmers, cooperatives, and small and medium-sized enterprises better equipped to produce high-quality products and export more to the EU market. We would also support better infrastructure and services, growth of tourism, more effective public-private partnerships, and a stimulus to entrepreneurship in rural areas, all to create new employment opportunities and to boost economic growth,” Carl Hartzell, EU Ambassador to Georgia, stated.
“ENPARD program brings concrete results for our country and particularly for our rural population. The quality of products, the employment opportunities for citizens, and the EU exports are significantly improving due to this program. Even more important is the implementation of this program in the pandemic context. The financial support provided to Georgia under the fourth phase of ENPARD is part of the wider EU assistance supporting Georgia’s COVID-19 recovery,” stated David Zalkaliani, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.
ENPARD IV will provide extended assistance in the food safety and sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) sector to enhance consumer protection for citizens of Georgia and to promote exports of Georgian products to the EU Member States. It will provide further support to the National Food Agency (NFA) for improved inspection and control systems and the continuation of the legal approximation process, including enforcement of newly adopted regulations. It will also support food business operators in their efforts to adapt to the sectoral reforms.
Besides, ENPARD IV would further support rural development and improve living conditions for a larger proportion of the rural population in Georgia, rendering the rural development sector more dynamic and effectively contributing to Georgia’s economic and social development. The fourth phase of ENPARD would improve the economic and social integration of vulnerable households in disadvantaged rural regions of Georgia, including eco-migrants, conflict-affected people, ethnic minorities, Georgian returnees, and migrants.