Georgia: EU-funded programme presents agriculture success story
A beneficiary of the EU-funded ENPARD programme in Georgia has spoken about the programme’s success at the ‘EU Success Stories in the Eastern Neighbourhood’ conference at the European Parliament in Brussels on 6 December. The representative came from the agricultural cooperative, ‘Darcheli Hazelnut’, which has received EU financing through ENPARD’s budget support to the government component and the small farmers’ cooperation component.
The cooperative in the village of Darcheli, in the Zugdidi municipality, is involved in cultivation, drying, processing, packaging and marketing of hazelnuts. ‘Darcheli Hazelnut’ received modern machinery and facilities for hazelnuts processing as part of the programme’s support, as well as various sectoral trainings. EU support has significantly boosted the cooperative’s income and increased the level and quality of its production.
In 2015, within the budget support to the government of Georgia, a hazelnut sector development programme was launched by the government and implemented by the Georgian Ministry of Agriculture through the Agriculture Cooperatives Development Agency. The programme supported the production of hazelnuts while simultaneously decreasing the cost price of hazelnuts and increasing the export possibilities.
The cooperative now has plans to introduce quality standards, as well as to obtain an ISO Certificate for quality control and management. From next year, the cooperative plans to export hazelnuts to EU member states.