EU, Sweden, and Austria announce grant support for organic agriculture in Georgia


EU, Sweden, and Austria announce grant support for organic agriculture in Georgia

05/01/2020

Georgia has great potential for organic farming, but these opportunities have not yet been mastered due to insufficient access to agricultural funds, loans, markets and information.

A grant competition for creating economic opportunities in the Georgian organic agriculture sector has been announced as part of the GRETA project funded by the European Commission (EU) and the governments of Sweden and Austria.

According to the EU Delegation in Georgia, a grant initiative of 1.16 million euros covers three regions – Svaneti, Racha-Lechkhumi and Zemo Imereti. The target municipalities are Mestia, Lentekhi, Tsageri, Oni, Ambrolauri, Sachkhere, Chiatura and Tkibuli.

Farmers, farmer groups, cooperatives, agricultural processing enterprises and other representatives of organic agriculture from these municipalities can participate in the competition. At the same time, applications from those enterprises that are established outside these municipalities, but which purchase organic products from there, will also be taken into account.

See also: Georgian farmers can receive small grants to develop the infrastructure of their farms

Projects or ideas submitted to the competition must comply with at least one of the following 6 priority areas:

  • encouraging small farmers to switch from conventional (ordinary) to organic agriculture;
  • increasing the productivity of existing organic farms and processing enterprises and improving their access to markets;
  • improving product quality and growing demand for it through marketing initiatives;
  • popularization of organic agriculture and organic products, as well as support for raising knowledge of organic production both in the target regions of the project and at the national level;
  • Establishment of communication between producers of organic products and purchasing companies, general coordination of activities related to bioproduction, informing the public about the benefits of organic products;
  • supply to farmers of the necessary resources necessary for bioproduction.

The size of grants ranges from 5 thousand ($ 1.6 thousand) to 150 thousand lari ($ 46.9 thousand). At the same time, the beneficiary’s co-financing should be at least 10%. The application deadline is May 25, 2020.

“Financial support aimed at improving the economic situation in Georgia is one of the priorities of the European Union. The country has great potential for organic farming, but these opportunities have not yet been mastered due to insufficient access to agricultural funds, loans, markets and information. Creating new opportunities for local small entrepreneurs and small-scale agricultural enterprises is the main component of rural development. Supporting local development initiatives is a timely step to overcome the challenges, ”said Karl Harzel, EU Ambassador to Georgia, commenting on the grant initiative.

GRETA (“Green Economy – Sustainable Mountain Tourism and Organic Agriculture”) is a four-year project to support the development of mountain tourism and organic agriculture, covering the regions of Zemo Svaneti, Racha and Zemo Imereti. The total cost of the project, which will last until April 2023, is 6.8 million euros.

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