19 April 2024,   20:35
USAID’s 5-year agricultural development program has ended - importance of the project was underlined at the summary event

The Minister of Agriculture and Environmental Protection, said the United States Agency for International Development’s Agriculture Programme had benefited over 1,000 enterprises in Georgia.

Speaking at a summary event of the Programme’s activities in the country, Otar Shamugia said it had ensured introduction of international food safety standards in Georgia.

“Enterprises have significantly increased production and sales both within the country and on export markets. The development of agriculture is one of the Government’s priorities. This year, in support of our farmers and entrepreneurs, we are implementing about 15 projects, which cover virtually the entire spectrum of the value chain”, - explained Otar Shamugia.

“The US had invested about USD 6 billion for Georgia during the past 32 years. Within the programme, 6,000 jobs have been created. The programme had an impact on the improvement of the lives of 100,000 people and at the same time, on the development of the agricultural sector”, - added Robin Dunnigan, the US Ambassador to Georgia.

The Minister of Economy said agricultural products worth about USD 150 million had been exported as a result of the programme.

“The program, which was implemented in almost every area of Georgia, assisted to identify and overcome numerous agribusiness difficulties, resulting in the growth of the agricultural industry. A USD 30 million co-investment was made, and businesses that took advantage of the program improved their sales by USD 148 million”, - said Levan Davitashvili.

He also stressed the importance of establishing a cargo terminal at Kutaisi airport to address logistics difficulties and increase sales of perishable agricultural products and food: “This will provide a fresh impetus for agriculture industry”.

Programme was implemented by international non-profit organisation Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture over 5.5 years, with budget of USD 26.88 million.