European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development in Ajara

Summary

UNDP Georgia Ajara agriculture
A farmer in a mountainous village of Ajara. May 2014. Photo: Vladimer Valishvili/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 the topography, agriculture sector 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 to 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, including 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.

Results so far




Innovative greenhouse in Kobuleti. November 2014. Photo: Vladimer Valishvili/UNDP

Extension Service and Training

  • More than 6,000 households received direct extension services in agronomy, veterinary and artificial insemination
  • 6,000 farmers receive regular SMS and online consultations
  • Over 100 specialists were re-trained in extension, nursery, fruit gardening, veterinary and bee-keeping
  • Up to 100 students re-trained in the management of agriculture chemicals and pesticides, nurseries and other

Development of the Profit Oriented Small Farmers’ Groups

  • 41 farmer cooperatives established within the programme in Ajara

Demo Projects in Modern Farming

  • 8,500 m2 walnut and 7,500 m2 blueberry demo plots in Keda, Shuakhevi and Khulo
  • 60,000 grape rootstocks grafted and prepared for wine seedlings production
  • Dairy milking and separators for Kobuleti municipality farmers, egg hatching and chopping equipment purchased for demonstration;
  • 500 m2 vegetable demo greenhouse in Kobuleti

Knowledge and Information

  • Textbooks developed and published: “Vegetable Gardening”, “Fruit Gardening”, “Beekeeping”  “Veterinary”,  “Food Crop Production Rules”, “Marginal Cost and Income calculation”, “Standardization and Certification” and other
  • Informational booklets and regular newsletters developed and distributed among farmers
  • 25 TV and 200 radio shows, 42 video podcasts about agriculture

Strengthening the Ministry of Agriculture of Ajara (MOA)

  • Studies performed: Agricuture Sector Baseline, Ajara Agriculture Sector Competitiveness and Export Promotion Policy, Capacity Need Assessment
  • Studies in preparation: Ajara Investment Profile and Investment Promotion;  MoA Development Strategy; Recommendations for Rural Development of Ajara
  • Value Chain Studies for high-technological greenhouses of vegetables, berry crop and greens; cattle and poultry farms developed 
  • Study tours for the staff of the Ministry of Agriculture to Armenia, Poland, Lithuania
  • Trainings in policy analysis, policy development, program budgeting, monitoring and evaluation

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

2014 (Total) US$ 2,301,272.13
European Union US$ 1,970,194.05
Government of Ajara Autonomous Republic
US$    331,078,08
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”
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Funded by the European Union 

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contribution from the Government of Ajara Autonomous Republic

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

9, Memed Abashidze av. Batumi, Georgia

Contact Person in UNDP

George Nanobashvili

Economic Development Team Leader

george.nanobashvili@undp.org