European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development in Ajara

Summary

UNDP Georgia Ajara agriculture
Farmers taking their products to an agriculture market in Batumi. July 2011. Photo: David Khizanishvili/UNDP

Under the the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD), UNDP promotes agriculture development in the Ajara Autonomous Republic as a foundation for food security, sustainable production and rural employment. The programme focuses on the assistance to small farmers and runs in close cooperation with the Ajara Government and the Ajara Agroservice Centre.

What We Do

Agriculture in Ajara remains an important yet declining sector in terms of GDP contribution, net foreign exchange earnings, and employment.

Most of Ajara is hilly or mountainous and, outside the narrow coastal plain, there is little flat land. Partly as a result of this topography, agriculture is dominated by citrus, other fresh fruit and vegetables, and livestock, with limited production of cereals or other field crops. Most of locally-produced citrus are exported to markets in Ukraine. Otherwise, agricultural production is mainly for local markets, which are also supplied by imports from other parts of Georgia and from Turkey. Turkish products dominate supply in the shoulder seasons and in the out-of-season market when the markets are undersupplied from local sources.

Farm sizes are small, averaging around 0.25 ha, with little evidence of land sales or rental. There is a substantial amount of state-owned farmland in Ajara which remains to be privatized.

As elsewhere in Georgia, banks are reluctant to lend to agriculture and generally will not take small land parcels as collateral.

As the autonomous republic, Ajara forms its own agricultural policy. The Regional Development Strategy for Ajara, approved in 2011, sees strong foundations for agricultural development but nonetheless recognised that these advantages are offset by small farm size, limited services to farmers, the age and condition of the fruit tree stock, and producers’ current strong orientation to local markets and hence the absence of price and quality signals that greater export orientation would provide.

UNDP has provided support in Ajara over a number of years in business development. UNDP assisted in the preparation of a local development strategy and creation of a Business Incubator in Batumi, currently a major provider of business development services in Ajara.

UNDP support to trade development focuses mainly on agriculture and aims at facilitating access to local and international markets, establishing supply chains and including those in the tourism industry. Trade-related services are provided to farmers and SMEs through a Trade Promotion Centre based in the Batumi Business Incubator. Services include assessment of marketing opportunities for agricultural products and assisting clients of the Agroservice Centre in preparing business and marketing plans and in developing supply chains.

Expected Results



  • Increasing and improving services to small farmers; such as access to mechanisation, seedlings, and trainings;
  • Development of business oriented small farmers’ groups, cooperatives associations and other forms of profit-based collaborative actions between farmers;
  • Institutional development of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Autonomous Republic of Ajara.

Who finaces it?

Total Budget US$ 4,324,579.55
European Union US$ 3,926,701.57
Government of Ajara Autonomous Republic US$ 397,877.98

Delivery

2013 (Total) US$ 843,684.21
European Union US$ 790,178.65
Government of Ajara Autonomous Republic US$   53,505.56
Overview
Status:
Ongoing
Start date:
May 2013
End date:
May 2016
Geographic coverage:
Ajara
Partners:
Ajara Agroservice Center, Batumi Business Incubator, Vocational College “Black Sea”
Millennium Development Goal
Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Project Document
  • Support to Agriculture Development in Ajara Autonomous Republic English
Contact Information

Lasha Komakhidze

Project Manager

lasha.komakhidze@undp.org

12 Jordania Street, Apt. 3

Batumi, Georgia

 

Contact Person in UNDP

George Nanobashvili

Economic Development Team Leader

george.nanobashvili@undp.org