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EU and FAO support Georgian Nursery Enterprises to align with international standards amid Covid-19

28/05/2020

Over twenty representatives of private nurseries participated in the first three-day technical webinar launched by FAO under the EU-funded project, “EU Innovative Action for Private Sector Competitiveness in Georgia”. The online webinar trained entrepreneurs in how to produce high quality, certified seedlings, with additional focus on the development of the National Seedling Certification System in Georgia.

The training course provided practical knowledge on how to align the Georgian production of seedlings with the minimum international standards and best practices of European countries. This is especially important due to the fact that new quality requirements will become mandatory for Georgian seedling producers from 2024, a result of the country’s Association Agreement with the EU.

These new requirements will also regulate import and export, as well as provide legal stability to the seedling sector, particularly in the form of helping to prevent the import of bad quality seedlings. In addition, the requirements will open markets for Georgian nurseries, allowing them to export to the EU and other countries.

The webinar was also a welcome opportunity to discuss the creation of an Association for Seed and Seedling Producers, and closer collaboration within a business cluster.

In her opening speech, Nunu Mosiashvili, the FAO’s project manager, stressed that: “It is critical for farmers to be able to procure locally-grown, certified seedlings for fruit trees and grapevines. Only then can they be sure of the quality of the seedlings that they are buying and planting on their farms. The FAO and EU are supporting local nurseries to produce better quality products, and ultimately meet international standards.”

This webinar is the first one of a series that will train nursery enterprises in several technical areas: nursery and greenhouse management; the principles of pest monitoring and pest control; principles to assure the varietal purity and identity of the seedlings; as well as the organization of proper paperwork systems.

The webinars are organized by the FAO as part of the “EU Innovative Action for Private Sector Competitiveness in Georgia” project. This EU-funded initiative is implemented by the FAO and other UN agencies in cooperation with private companies and business associations.

The project is part of the wider EU4Business support for private sector development in Georgia, which aims to assist Georgian entrepreneurs, improve the legal environment, facilitate access to finance, and strengthen the ties with the European Union.

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