Georgia, EaP countries sign EU-document to boost rural development

The EU-initiated declaration focuses on the development of agricultural advisory systems., 17 Apr 2015 - 18:33, Tbilisi,Georgia

The country’s Minister of Agriculture, Otar Danelia, and his colleagues from Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries have signed a joint declaration in support of agriculture and rural development advisory systems.

Danelia and agricultural ministers from four of the five other EaP countries (Armenia, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine) signed the agreement in Riga, Latvia yesterday at the international conference ‘Rural and Agricultural Advisory Systems (RAAS): Best Practices and Experiences in the Eastern Partnership’. EaP country Azerbaijan did not sign the agreement.

The Georgian Minister noted the declaration foresaw further deepening of cooperation between the European Union (EU) and EaP countries in the agricultural sector, including supporting the development of small and medium businesses and advisory centres.

"Today a declaration was signed which will strengthen relations between Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova and Armenia even more. It is essential that Latvia, as the chair country of the EU, is the contributor to this process,” Danelia said.

The declaration stated that the agriculture ministers of EaP countries agreed that the development of agricultural advisory systems was "a priority”, because it contributed to the training of qualified personnel, continuous education and professional expertise, which would lead to economic growth of each country.

Meanwhile Eastern Partnership was a priority of Latvia’s foreign policy.

The morning session of the conference was dedicated to the panel discussions by ministers of EaP states on the role of rural advisory systems in sustainable rural development.The conference aimed to address prerequisites and analyse examples of an effective performance of rural and agricultural advisory system and discuss the opportunities for cooperation between EU member states and EaP states.