On December 15, 2016, Dr. Natalia Velikova, Associate Professor at Texas Tech University (TTU), held a lecture on Focus Group Discussions for the researchers of ISET-PI. Natalia is an Associate Director of the Texas Wine Marketing Research Institute. Currently, she is a Fulbright scholar in Tbilisi and works on the Development of Wine Marketing and Wine Tourism Strategies for Georgia.

Natalia started her presentation by outlining the main differences between quantitative and qualitative research and suggested some criteria for choosing between these two approaches. Afterwards, she introduced Focus Group Discussions (FGD) as one of the methods used in qualitative research and listed research goals and questions to be addressed with FGDs.

On 29 November 2016, in the framework of the EU-funded European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD), an Interagency Forum on “Access to Finance for Cooperatives” took place at the Hotels & Preference Hualing Tbilisi. The purpose of the forum was to discuss challenges and opportunities that cooperatives face with regard to access to finance.

Among the speakers of the forum were ENPARD’s key stakeholders, including representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia, the French Development Agency, the Agricultural Cooperatives Development Agency, the Georgian Farmers Association, agricultural cooperatives, financial institutions, leasing companies, business and finance consulting groups, the ENPARD implementer consortia, and research centers.

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