The government of the Adjara Autonomous Republic (AR) in Georgia has agreed to contribute 230,000 euros to boost the implementation of regional components of the 10 million-euro, EU-funded ENPARD 3: Improving Rural Development in Georgia project aimed at promoting rural development and small and medium-sized businesses.
Tornike Rizhvadze, chairperson of the Adjara AR government, and Louisa Vinton, head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Georgia, signed an agreement covering the autonomous region’s contribution to the project in Batumi in mid-December.
Under the agreement, the European Union, in cooperation with the UNDP, will assist in developing economic alternatives outside agriculture for families in Adjara’s rural areas and support the region’s government to develop and implement effective rural development policies.
“Rural development creates new opportunities for every village and promotes economic and social progress for every citizen,” said Mrs Vinton. “This new initiative gives us a chance to help Adjara families build sustainable livelihoods where farming is no longer profitable.”
The assistance to the Adjara AR comes as a component of the third phase of the EU’s European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD), which has been implemented in Georgia since 2013 with a total budget of 179.5 million euros. The first phase focused on developing the country’s agricultural potential, while the second and third phases aim to create economic opportunities for the rural population that go beyond agricultural activities.