Team Europe and FAO help modernise beef and dairy sectors in Dmanisi

On 8 March, representatives from the European Union Delegation, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nation (FAO) visited two recent investments in Dmanisi.

fao eu

The delegation visited Dmanisi Cattle Breeding Station, the farm that last year received co-funding for over 1 million GEL Investment destined to upgrade equipment for animal feed production.

This was followed by a visit to the Swiss Agricultural School Caucasus during which a contract worth 400,000 GEL was signed between FAO and the School. The EU-FAO grant will be used to finance training equipment for cattle breeding, dairy and cheese processing.

Both investments support the development of the dairy and beef sectors in Dmanisi Municipality as part of the EU and FAO Matching Grants Programme under the EU’s ENPARD programme. In the last two years, close to 250 Georgian farmers, cooperatives, SMEs and entrepreneurs were selected to receive matching grants for a total amount of 16.3 million GEL. The matching grant scheme co-funds various capital investments in Georgia’s agriculture sectors to increase the quality, quantity and sustainability of the agricultural production, while creating extra jobs and ensuring the stability in food supplies. EU and FAO grants were awarded to small-, medium-, and large-scale producers with matching grant amounts ranging from USD 1 000 up to 150 000, co-funding a 40 percent of the investment costs in equipment or processing and storage facilities.

Giorgi Khanishvili, the First Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, Sigrid Brettel, Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to Georgia, representatives of FAO, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the French Embassy in Georgia also participated in the visit.

The Dmanisi Cattle Breeding is one of the large beef producers in Georgia, established in 2017, which received a matching grant of 462,000 GEL to upgrade its machinery and equipment under the EU-FAO matching grant programme.

Since 2018, the Swiss Agricultural School Caucasus is the first agricultural vocational educational school in Georgia set up according to the Swiss standards. A dairy farm and a modern cheese factory were built on the college premises to provide practical trainings for students.

“As the school is non-profit, our cheese factory must insurance financial stability of the school, therefore, the grant agreement has been signed with FAO regarding the 400,000 GEL investment, 40 percent out of which will be co-funded with grant. With the help from the European Union and FAO we will soon buy additional equipment for production,” said Tinatin Makharadze, Director of the Swiss Agricultural School Caucasus.

“Dairy and beef production are key sub sectors of Georgian agriculture and in ensuring the country’s long term food security. We hope that our investments together with improved agricultural education in Georgia will help increase the country’s prosperity and help citizens improve their lives. And we are particularly happy that these two projects are implemented through EU standards and technologies.  The EU will continue to assist the development of the Georgian agriculture sector with support programmes,” said Sigrid Brettel, Head of Cooperation at the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia.

“All the funded companies adopt modern approaches for better production and development. Dmanisi cattle farm is a good example. Through production intensification, in-house feed production, adapted breeding, contract farming with customers, and an improved management approach, this project is setting new standards for beef production in Georgia,” said Javier Sanz Alvarez, FAO-EU Programme Coordinator.

A matching grant is a one-time investment support for agricultural producers who pledge to make a financial contribution, too. The next cycle of the Grants Programme will be launched in April 2022. More information will be published at: https://eu4georgia.eu/enpard-faogrant/

About EU support to agriculture in Georgia

The EU is supporting agriculture and rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD programme. Implemented since 2013 with a total budget of EUR 234.5 million, the main goal of ENPARD is to provide economic opportunities in rural areas and reduce poverty in Georgia. 

“Improving the Agriculture Sector in Georgia“ is a project with a total budget of EUR 12 million  implemented by FAO under the third phase of ENPARD.  The project aims to increase access to finance, better services and inputs for farmers, rural households, cooperatives and other small and medium enterprises in rural areas. These advantages, along with and improved capacities in Georgia’s Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture, are expected to make the country’s agricultural sector more competitive. 

More information on ENPARD is available at: https://eu4georgia.eu/enpard/.