The Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to Georgia, Janos Herman, recently paid a series of visits to agricultural and rural development initiatives in the country supported through the EU-funded European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD). The ENPARD site visits in Kvareli and Lagodekhi were part of the Ambassador’s two-day official programme in Kakheti to explore EU support to economic opportunities in the region.
The EU Ambassador visited the vineyard and orchards of the ENPARD agricultural cooperative “Saba” in Gavazi village, Kvareli municipality. He also stopped at several rural development initiatives and met with the members of the Local Action Group (LAG) in Lagodekhi municipality.
“Agriculture and rural development has an important role to play in the sustainable development of Georgia,” – said Ambassador Herman. “Nearly half of the country’s population lives in rural areas and is employed in agriculture. Revitalising rural economies and boosting Georgia’s potential in agriculture is therefore vital for increasing welfare and stimulating the country’s economy,” he added.
In addition, the EU ambassador took part in the climate diplomacy week clean-up action with local youth and planted a tree in the EU-supported Lagodekhi Dendrology Park. In a press release, the ENPARD said the visits to EU-funded agricultural and rural development projects in Kakheti offered the Ambassador first-hand information about the successes and challenges of Georgia’s rural community, as well as the results of the EU’s support in this sector.
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The Chair of the Agrarian Issues Committee, Mr. Otar Danelia held the meeting with the EU Ambassador, H.E. Janos Herman. The parties discussed agrarian development of the country, EU support in this sphere and future cooperation. “We have always had particular relations with Mr. Herman. He is one of the supporters of development of agriculture in Georgia”, - O. Danelia stated.
Georgia has obtained the significant aid in agricultural development within European Neighborhood Policy, such are ENPARD-1, ENPARD-2 and ENPARD-3. Supported by EU, various spheres of agriculture have successfully developed through interesting programs.
“We already have successful directions, such are: cooperative development, agro-financing, agro-credits, agro-insurance, “plant future” program, processing plant co-financial program etc. An important novelty for Georgia is new concept of rural development envisaging establishment of the tomorrow’s village model, concluding the pre-conditions for rural development, one of the components of which is development of agriculture”.
The parties agreed on intensive cooperation between Georgia and EU in agrarian and rural development spheres. As noted, the parties will strive to facilitate to active engagement of Georgian farmers in EU projects.
The Chair of the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee, Ms. Sofio Kiladze held the introductory meeting with the EU Ambassador, Mr. Janos Herman. The parties discussed Georgia-EU strategic cooperation directions and further relation issues.
As S. Kiladze noted, the 9th Term of the Parliament and the new Government will further enhance current relations with EU.
“In terms of EU relations, we will have better results. It concerns democratic institutions and development of the legal State, which is very important for EU and member states. Georgia-EU cooperation in human rights direction is particularly noteworthy. Plenty of projects have been implemented in Georgia in this direction with EU support. Our Committee will at maximal extent facilitate to close cooperation with EU institutions to further enhance EU aspiration”, - S. Kiladze stated.
The Prime Minister of Georgia met with the US Ambassador to Georgian Ian Kelly and EU Ambassador Janos Herman. The sides discussed October Parliamentary elections and political processes. Ian Kelly and Janos Herman congratulated to Giorgi Kvirikashvili the election results. According to them, the election was well-organized, open and competitive.
As US Ambassador said, 2016 elections confirmed the loyalty of Georgia to democratic reforms. He hoped that the second round will held in peaceful political field.
OSCE/ODIHR researches have been also discussed. Giorgi Kvirikashvili thanked to them for a positive assessment of the elections. He highlighted the role and importante of EU and International Community.