The Georgian government is hosting a Rural Development Conference in Tbilisi today to strengthen policy reforms and coordination, bringing together national stakeholders, international partners and rural development experts from EU Member States.
The conference is taking place with funding from the European Union and in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
“Sustainable and green rural development will improve the lives of over 40 per cent of Georgians living outside major cities, fostering opportunities for entrepreneurship, education, and environmental protection,” said Catalin Gherman, Deputy Head of the Cooperation Section at the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia. “With support from the European Union, Georgia made notable progress in institutional reforms aimed at aligning its rural development frameworks with the EU Common Agricultural Policy. We remain committed to working with the government, civil society, the private sector, and communities on this developmental journey.”
Gherman also noted that one of the most important components in this context was the EU’s LEADER programme – a bottom-up initiative designed to bolster the growth of rural areas by implementing projects that directly address local needs. “We look forward to the forthcoming implementation of the established mechanism in Georgia, facilitating state financing for rural development projects spurred by LEADER initiatives,” the EU representative added.
The EU and UNDP support for rural development in Georgia draws on the €234.5 million EU-funded European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) implemented since 2013.
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