Small Farmers Meet High-Ranking EU Officials
BATUMI. 16 July 2016 – EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn visited Georgia on 14 July to speak at “Georgia's European Way” conference in Batumi.
After the conference, Commissioner Hahn visited a number of agriculture projects in Ajara Autonomous Republic funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The EU official was accompanied by EU Ambassador to Georgia Janos Herman, United Nations Resident Coordinator Niels Scott and Minister of Agriculture of Georgia Otar Danelia.
Commissioner Hahn visited the agricultural cooperative “Lurja 2015” which produces berries in Ochkhamuri village in Kobuleti. The founder and several members of the cooperative are visually impaired. Commissioner Hahn handed over two laptop computers with speech recognition software specially designed for visually impaired persons.
Commissioner Johannes Hahn also visited the Kobuleti branch of the Ajara Agroservice Canter to learn about services for farmers that help promote agriculture and rural development in Ajara.
Meetings of high-ranking EU officials with small farmers continued on 16 July, when Deputy Director General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, Katarina Mathernova, accompanied by Minister of Agriculture of Georgia, Otar Danelia, and Deputy Head of UNDP in Georgia, Natia Natsvlishvili, visited a wine cellar “Satsuri” and honey producer “Naturgift” in Batumi.
Both cooperatives were established with assistance of the programme ENPARD funded by the European Union and implemented in Ajara AR by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Katarina Mathernova handed over to the cooperative "Naturgift" a modern honey production equipment worth GEL 60 thousand.
The visits to EU-funded agricultural cooperatives and the meetings with small farmers offered EU officials first-hand information about the challenges and achievements of local economies in Georgia and the role cooperation in boosting rural development.
The programme ENPARD is recognised as one of the most successful agriculture initiatives funded by the EU. Since 2013, the programme has supported Georgia’s agriculture and rural development with over EUR 102 million. In Ajara Autonomous Republic ENPARD is being implemented through cooperation with UNDP.
The first phase of the programme came to end in June 2016. The second phase will be launched shortly to continue through 2018.