EU offers grants to agricultural cooperatives in Georgia

Every stakeholder will be entitled to receive up to 5,000 GEL financial aid as a grant from the state., 16 Sep 2014 - 12:39, Tbilisi,Georgia

The European Union (EU) has teamed up with humanitarian organisation ACF International and announced a competition to finance vital farming equipment.

The contest is being carried out with the EU-funded project ‘Support for the development of agricultural cooperatives in Georgia.’

According to competition rules, a farming cooperative that consisted of at least five members was able to apply for a grant valued between €15,000 and €49,000 (33,584 to 109,709 GEL). The money should be used to purchase production, storage and processing equipment.

Successful applicants must contribute 30 percent of their project’s costs while the grant will cover the remaining 70 percent costs.

Under the same initiative, biological farming association Elkana was set to hold meeting with farming groups and cooperatives to reveal the best ideas in business-oriented fruit and vegetable production and processing sector.

The Georgian Government has been working with the EU to encourage small agriculture farms for the past year.

On July 2013, the law of Georgia on Agriculture Cooperatives was adopted, which offered farming cooperatives a number of profitable conditions, such as preferential taxes.

The Government also launched the Agriculture Cooperatives Development Agency, which was in charge of granting and terminating the status of individual cooperatives and monitoring their activities.

The project is being carried out within the European Neighbourhood Program for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD ) Georgia.