On 15-20 October 2018, LAG board members from the Keda Municipality of Ajara participated in a study tour. The activity carried out under the EU’s ENPARD project, Keda LEADER, was organized by the Austrian Institute for Regional Studies and Spatial Planning (ÖIR). Representatives from the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia and Ministry of Agriculture of Ajara A/R participated in the study tour.
During the study trip, participants visited three LEADER regions and met with the LEADER managers and LAG Board members. Additionally, they visited the projects financed and implemented under the LEADER.
Austrian LEADER managers presented detailed information about the Austrian approaches, the role of LAGs in the development of Local Development Strategies and project evaluation.
In the LEADER region of Donau-Böhmerwald, participants visited the projects related to youth and women and carried out the meeting with a female network, addressing issues concerning female empowerment and employment. In the LEADER region of Pramtal Sauwald, the team visited the projects related to the development of regional value chains, such as pumpkin oil producers and family-owned beer breweries. In the LEADER region of Südliches Waldviertel – Nibelungengau, participants visited local producers of poppyseed, a family-owned whiskey distillery, herbal tea and spices. Additionally, participants visited an eco-tourism project - Tree Top Walk.
Participants were especially interested in the process of project evaluation, the selection process and the projects related to creating regional value chains.
The EU-supported ENPARD project is implemented by CENN in partnership with the Centre for Strategic Research and Development of Georgia (CSRDG), Institute of Democracy (IoD) and the Austrian Institute for Regional Studies and Spatial Planning (ÖIR). The project aims to diversify local economic activities, improve the investment climate, and empower competitive agricultural and environmental practices in Keda Municipality via bottom-up strategic planning in rural development.
The EU is supporting agriculture and rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD Programme. Implemented since 2013 with a total budget of EUR 179.5 million, the main goal of ENPARD is to reduce rural poverty in Georgia. The first phase of ENPARD in Georgia focused on developing the potential of agriculture. The second and third phases of ENPARD focus on creating economic opportunities for rural populations that go beyond agricultural activities. More information on ENPARD is available at: www.enpard.ge