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PM praises US role in supporting Georgian agriculture

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, June 8
Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has highlighted the efforts of USAID and non-profit organisations in supporting Georgia’s agriculture field.

At a special event on June 6, celebrating the 10th anniversary in Georgia of the Washington-based international non-profit organisation Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), Kvirikashvili stressed the US-based organisations supported thousands of Georgians to carry out agricultural works.

The PM especially emphasised the significant support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and CNFA.

“During the 10 years CNFA was a friend and partner for Georgian farmers. We had the opportunity, with the support of USAID and MCC, to deal with such organisation as CNFA is after the Russia-Georgia war in 2008,” Kvirikashvili said.

The PM stressed CNFA “immediately offered” help to Georgia after the war, got involved in USAID-initiated and other projects and provided “very significant support” to the people affected by the armed conflict.

“Through the support of CNFA, thousands of Georgian Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) could cultivate their lands and reap harvests and plant orchards. In order for farmers to better take care of orchards, CNFA, with Cartu Bank, introduced electronic vouchers through which 17,000 farmers managed to buy more than $5.8 mln worth of products and substances required to protect trees,” Kvirikashvili said.

The PM said that in total, CNFA supported the implementation of eight major agricultural projects.

Kvirikashvili also announced that with USAID and MCC, the US Government supported the creation of more than 430 agricultural enterprises in Georgia, with more than 3,500 working places and retrained more than 140,000 people.

“In particular, sales of the agricultural enterprises funded by CNFA amounted to more than $51 mln. I am proud that our cooperation resulted in such success,” Kvirikashvili said.

In his speech, the PM also touched on the Government’s activities in the agriculture sector over the last four years and stressed that more than 120 irrigation system rehabilitation project have been successfully completed.

“Since we came to power in 2012, the number of agricultural lands with appropriate irrigation systems have doubled,” Kvirikashvili said.

The PM also said the Government has finalised talks about free trade with Europe’s Free Trade Assosiation and now the same talks were in progress with China.

Kvirikashvili stressed that through different projects, the Government supported more than 800,000 small farmers.

“After 2014, about 1,400 cooperatives have been established with 12,000 farmers involved. We launched the project of preferential agro-credit and encouraged different co-financing mechanisms. Due to the preferential agro-credit project 148 new enterprises have been established and 700 others increased their scales,” Kvirikashvili stated.

At the end of the speech, the PM thanked Georgia’s foreign partners for their continued support of the country.