February 26, 2015
First Round of ENPARD Grants Awarded in Highly Successful Ceremony
Action Georgia recently organised a successful grant-signing ceremony in honour of the cooperatives that were successful in the first round of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) grant competition.
Among the attendants at the ceremony were the Deputy Head of the EU Delegation in Georgia, Mr. Iarochevitch, and the Deputy Minister of Agriculture in Georgia, Mr Kereseledize, both of whom said they greatly enjoyed the occasion and commended the excellent organization and high-standards of the event.
Mr Juan Echanove, attaché for agriculture, food safety and rural development of the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia, reflected on the meaning and power such an event can have on attendees. “I was touched to see the self-confidence and pride of all those farmers, some of whom I had the chance to meet in their farms in the past,” said Echanove. “If someone would have told me five years ago that something of this kind was going to happen in Georgia, I would not have believed it.”
The ceremony , which was held at the Kutaisi A. Tsereteli State University, in Kutaisi, Georgia, gave the farmers of the cooperatives the opportunity to directly relate their success stories not only to the invited members of the press, but also to agronomy and business students at the university, as well as other farmers in attendance.
The organized media tour at the site provided the opportunity for media representatives to get a greater overview of ENPARD, increasing interest in future regional events and activities to be organised under the guise of the programme.
Great enthusiasm about the event and the outcomes of the project were also shown by the University Rector, Mr. Giorgi Gavtadze, who expressed hopes for continued work between farmers, students, and ENPARD partners. Small farmers attending the event also benefitted from hearing the success stories of their colleagues, and from learning about the advantages of forming cooperatives and the possible outcomes of applying for such grants.