FAO, under the EU-supported ENPARD programme, gathered stakeholders from public and private sectors, as well as the representatives of local and international organizations to discuss the development of the National Aquaculture Strategy of Georgia. The online workshop was organized in close collaboration with the National Environmental Agency of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia.
The workshop served to initiate a discussion amongst the different stakeholders active in aquaculture in Georgia, and covered the topics of the extensive aquaculture, mariculture and fish farming, to support the writing of the National Aquaculture Development Strategy of Georgia.
“The new comprehensive strategy on aquaculture should not only have a strong framework for the development of the sector, but also to clearly identify the support needed for this process. We are happy to support Georgia in this process. We hope that the main principles included in this strategy, among others, will be the sustainability of the production, the respect of high food safety standards and consumer protection, the respect of the environmental standards and social equity,” stated Ms. Sigrid Brettel, Head of Cooperation of the European Union Delegation to Georgia in her opening remarks during the workshop.
Ms. Brettel underlined that Georgia’s aquaculture is still in the developing stage but it shows great potential and may find significant markets both domestically and internationally.
With EU support, FAO is providing international expertise for the preparation of this Aquaculture Strategy, bringing best practices from other countries while ensuring the participation of the private sector. The strategy will be used to create government programmes in order to develop the sector, increase the production, and overcome the challenges.
As Nino Tandilashvili, the Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia stated, Georgia undertakes important steps to ensure the sustainable management and conservation of aquatic living resources. Back in June 2020, the Parliament of Georgia has adopted the law on aquaculture and the state has done tremendous work to evaluate biodiversity loss that is essential to the successful implementation of the new legislation in Georgia.
“Currently we work on the allocation of the aquaculture zones, which will become the basis for issuing the aqua licenses. Along with the legislative development there is a need for elaboration of the strategic vision that will serve as a guiding document for the identification of the practical measures necessary for this sector. We are very grateful that the European Union and FAO have accepted our request to support the Ministry in the development of the aquaculture strategy,” the Deputy Minister said.
“FAO continues to play a crucial role in supporting the Georgian Agricultural Sector under ENPARD III. Today we have opened a policy discussion about the future of the aquaculture sector. Together with our international experts we express readiness to provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia in shaping long-term strategic vision for sustainable development of the Aquaculture sector protecting the biodiversity and sustainability of its waters,” – Juba Maruashvili, Senior National Policy Advisor stated.
The organizers of the event have noted that the National Aquaculture Strategy will be developed with the consideration of the EU Strategic Vision for Sustainable Aquaculture Production and Consumption. This document is a part of the European Green Deal, the EU’s new growth agenda. Its objective is to stimulate the economy, while accelerating the green transition.
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: www.enpard.ge.