Georgia, FAO sign new $4mln project to boost sustainable agriculture, rural development

Otar Shamugia, the Minister of Agriculture, and Raimund Jehle, FAO representative signed an agreement for a new four-year, $4 million project. Photo: Ministry of Agriculture, 26 Apr 2024 - 11:53, Tbilisi,Georgia

Otar Shamugia, the Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, and Raimund Jehle, the representative of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation in the country, on Friday signed an agreement for a new four-year, $4 million project to enhance competitiveness in the agricultural sector, elevate food production, introduce new technologies, increase the knowledge of farmers, reduce poverty in rural areas and promote gender and social balance in the sector.

The target groups of the Inclusive Rural Development and Sustainable Agriculture project are farmers, cooperatives, rural households, educational institutions, private sector representatives and owners of family farms.

Shamugia thanked the FAO and the Austrian Government for support and partnership over the years and emphasised the importance of the FAO's involvement in Georgia's cooperation with the European Union, particularly in implementing the recommendations issued in relation for the country’s membership candidate status.

With joint efforts we have implemented a number of important projects. As you know, Georgia is at a new stage of cooperation with the European Union, and [...] the involvement of the FAO and partner organisations in this process is particularly important”, he said.

Shamugia said the new project would “significantly contribute” to strengthening the agricultural sector and “effectively” implementing the recommendations.

In his turn, Jehle noted the signing of the new project was “proof” of support for the country and future cooperation. He also highlighted the FAO supported Georgia's rapprochement with the EU and the signing of the new project marked a “new stage” of development in agriculture.