EU and FAO award over GEL 8.5 million in agricultural grants
EU and FAO awarded 175 matching grants with a total amount of 8.5 million GEL in the last two years. Grant support co-funding various capital investments in Georgia’s agriculture sector is aimed at increasing production, creating extra jobs, and preventing instability in food supplies. These grants are provided under the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) programme.
With the third cycle of grants launched in 2020, Georgian farmers and agricultural producers could make capital investments – purchase new tractors and machinery, optimise the processing and storage of the goods with new automated solutions, buy the equipment for large-scale dairy, vegetable, and fruit productions and many more.
This matching grant component under the ENPARD programme supports farmers, rural households, cooperatives and small and medium producers operating in the municipalities of Akhalakalaki, Borjomi, Dedoplitskaro, Kazbegi, Keda, Khulo, Lagodekhi, Tetriskaro, Akhaltsikhe, Dusheti, Khelvachauri, Shuakhevi, Marneuli, Bolnisi, Dmanisi, Gardabani, Tsalka, Ninotsminda, Aspindza, Kvareli, Gurjaani and Sighnaghi.
Malkhaz Mirinashvili, a farmer from Kvareli municipality, together with his family, has been farming the land for decades. The family processes a 9-hectare land plot growing tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbages, and maize, moreover, takes care of a vineyard. With the support from the EU and FAO the, the farmer was able to purchase a brand-new tractor, plough and a cultivator.
“Our village is quite large, and we don’t have enough agricultural machinery for rent available. Sometimes, the wait list for the equipment is so long, that we miss the harvest time, and our produce goes bad. With this new equipment, not only we can save time and money, but we also started to look for a new land plot, about 10 hectares in size, to double our production. Without these new machines, we wouldn’t be able to do it,” Malkhaz Mirinashvili stated.
“Winemaking has been our family tradition for centuries,” Manana Bolkvadze, a winemaker from Keda municipality in Mountainous Adjara says. Manana and her family work a two-hectare vineyard, growing Tsolikauri and Chkhaveri grapevine varieties. Supported by the EU and FAO, Manana was able to purchase new wine tanks and finish the construction of her wine cellar.
“I wasn’t able to sell as much wine during the pandemic as usual, I had a hard time storing the wine and lost part of the product. With these new tanks this issue was resolved, and quality of my wine greatly improved,’’ the female farmer stated.
EU and FAO grants are awarded to small, medium and large-scale producers with the matching grant amount ranging from 1000 up to 150,000 USD, co-funding up to 60% of the investment costs. Small and medium producers received over 200 grants in total, with the large-scale enterprises getting 14 grants in 2020.
“EU and FAO grants help Georgian farmers and agricultural producers to invest in their farms and enterprises. This support allows farmers to produce more and better-quality goods, modernize their approach to agriculture, purchase effective and climate-smart agricultural equipment and make their businesses more profitable,” FAO-EU Programme Coordinator Javier Sanz Alvarez stated.
Up to 60 more beneficiaries of the grant programme have already signed their agreements and will receive grant support in the upcoming months. Opening of the fourth cycle of the grants programme is also envisaged early in 2022.
The EU is supporting agriculture and rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD programme. Implemented since 2013 with a total budget of EUR 234.5 million, the main goal of ENPARD is to provide economic opportunities in rural areas and reduce poverty in Georgia. More information on ENPARD is available at: https://eu4georgia.eu/enpard/