On February 17, interested ISET faculty, staff and students visited the Ministry of Defence's research and development centre, Delta, at the invitation of Ilia Zhorzholiani, an ISET alumnus working as the facility's Chief Auditor. The visitors were shown many of Delta's products (which were of particular interest to ISET personnel with prior military experience), including sniper systems, mortars, weapon optics and light armoured vehicles. While most of Delta's foreign export deals remain classified, Delta staff were able to reveal the recent signing of a recent agreement with Saudi Arabia worth 40 million USD for an unspecified number of its 'Didgori' armoured vehicles.

A working meeting of the Georgian Agriculture Alliance for Rural Development (GAARD) was held on January 31 2017 by Oxfam and BRIDGE - Innovation and Development, a local NGO.

There are five different working groups in GAARD: (i) Food Security, (ii) Access to Services, (iii) Access to Finance, (iv) Cooperation and Smallholder Farmers, and (v) the Environment, Diversity and Land Usage group.

APRC researcher Ia Katsia participated in a GAARD meeting in which Alliance members presented developed advocacy plans on different topics developed by the working groups’ of the GAARD. During the meeting, advocacy priorities were highlighted for each working group, and the participants discussed future activities and important topics related to agriculture.

On 25 January 2017, researchers from the APRC attended a stakeholder meeting of the European Neighborhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD). The meeting was organized by EVOLUXER, which is an implementing partner for capacity building to the Agricultural Cooperatives Development Agency (ACDA).

ENPARD’s key stakeholders were in attendance, including the Deputy Minister of Agriculture of Georgia, Giorgi Khanishvili; the Programme Manager at the European Union Delegation to Georgia, Cristina Casella; the head of the Agricultural Cooperatives Development Agency, Giorgi Misheladze; representatives of the ENPARD implementing partners, such as Oxfam, Mercy Corps, Care, People in Need, and other parties involved in the process.

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