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UNDP: Georgia Adopts First National Strategy for Rural Development

TBILISI – The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) reports that Georgia’s government has adopted its first-ever national strategy for rural development. 

The plan outlines the country’s vision for the three years 2017 to 2020, in key areas of rural development – growth and diversification of local economies, improvement of social and public services, sustainable use of natural resources, and local engagement in the development process.

The Rural Development Strategy 2017–2020 was initiated by the Government of Georgia and supported by the European Union (EU) and two United Nations agencies – the UNDP, and the Food and Agriculture Organization. It falls under the scope of the EU-funded European Neighborhood Program for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD).

UNDP reports that the strategy focuses on promoting entrepreneurship and civil engagement, and on improving the quality of people’s life while paying special attention to the values of natural and cultural heritage.

“The preparation of the Strategy engaged a range of national and international stakeholders, including for civil society and community organizations, national and international experts, relevant ministries and state agencies,” the agency said.

After its adoption by the government, an ‘Interagency Coordination Council on Rural Development’ will be established and led by the Ministry of Agriculture. The council will coordinate the implementation of the strategy and will look into specific initiatives for individual regions of Georgia.  

According to UNDP: “the EU is supporting rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD Program. Implemented since 2013 with a total budget of EUR 102 million, the main goal of ENPARD is to reduce rural poverty in Georgia. The first phase of ENPARD in Georgia focused on developing the potential of agriculture. The second phase focuses on creating economic opportunities for rural population that go beyond agricultural activities.

The national strategy for rural development 2017-2020 was adopted by the government during its year-end session December 30th.

By Thea Morrison

04 January 2017 21:12