Agricultural and rural development play an important role in the country’s socio-economic development. The restrictions imposed during the pandemic have hindered spring agricultural works which have significantly worsened conditions for farmers and stalled their future potential. Consequently, the Georgian government developed an anti-crisis plan, “Caring for Farmers and Agriculture”, that was presented on 12 March. The proposal entails two forms of aid: direct assistance and sectoral support.
The European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development in Georgia (ENPARD Georgia) was implemented in March 2013. The main goal of the ENPARD program is to reduce rural poverty in Georgia.1 The total budget of the program is 102 million EUR.
The agricultural cooperative movement started a few years ago in Georgia and the registered farmer groups are currently still at the embryonic stage of development. The Soviet legacy and rather negative attitude towards earlier forms of cooperation (Kolkoz and Sovkhoz) has gradually faded among farmers, and today more than 1,400 cooperatives are registered with the Agricultural Cooperative Development Agency under the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia.
With EU financial and technical assistance, as well as training and education on cooperation and agribusiness, small farmers in Georgia are benefitting from economies of scale, cutting their production costs and increasing efficiency.
The cooperative movement in Georgia started back in 2013 with EU support, through the launching of the ENPARD project, a major component of which is the development of agricultural cooperatives across Georgia.