6.8 mln Euros Allocated for Mountain Tourism and Organic Agriculture

In a mutual project of the EU, Sweden and Austria, with the budget of EUR 6.8 million, are to develop areas of Upper Svaneti, Racha-Lechkhumi, Lower Svaneti, and Imereti.

On International Mountain Day, in the setting of the Georgian Ethnographic Museum, representatives of the EU, Sweden and Austria signed an agreement to start the project named: "Green Economy: Sustainable Mountain Tourism & Organic Agriculture (GRETA)".

Within the scope of the project, it is planned to support small and medium enterprises of Georgia, aiming to ameliorate the degree of professionalism and grow the scale of them. Another objective of the given initiative is to facilitate an improvement of the business environment and create new income opportunities in the two significant sectors, such as: mountain tourism and organic agriculture. The project was developed as a result of close partnership among the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development and the Georgian National Tourism Agency.

The four-year program will commence in 2019 and will be funded by the European Commission (EUR 3 million), Sweden (EUR 2.8 million) and the Austrian Development Cooperation (EUR 1 million). It will be carried out by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), managed by 9 members of the staff, permanently based in Mestia and Tbilisi.

With the purpose of boosting Mountain tourism, the project aims to accomplish a number of events, including the establishment of a national quality standard and control system for local tourism service providers. The program will also present an opportunity international and national exchange regarding the given field.

Within the framework of the development of organic agriculture, the project aims at harmonizing Georgian organic legislation with EU organic legislation, establishing an internal control system, enabling capacity development for certification agencies and agro-advisory services, strengthening farmer cooperatives intending to become organic farmers as well as coordinating and support the promotion of advisory services to processors, suppliers and traders in the organic farming sector.

Ambassador of the European Union, Carl Hartzell focused on the high potential of mountainous regions of Georgia and stated the given project will support their development and growth of income, and at the same time will preserve their natural beauty and cultural heritage.

The project is a constituent ofa 49 million EU programme to support economic and business development in Georgia which was signed on 21 November at a high level meeting in Brussels. 


By Ketevan Kvaratskheliya

Source, Image source: Delegation of the European Union to Georgia

14 December 2018 17:15