EU and FAO support Georgian government in enhancing climate-smart agriculture practices

07/03/2021

With the support of the European Union (EU) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia (MEPA) has established a Climate Agriculture Working Group, which conducts regular online sessions to address climate change challenges in the country. The group aims to raise awareness on climate smart agriculture and to develop a set of recommendations to Georgian authorities to minimize climate change effects, as well reduce greenhouse gases emissions in the agricultural sector.

The working group, that consists of MEPA relevant departments and subordinated agencies, and is facilitated by FAO under the ENPARD Programme, is expected to meet up quarterly. Also, all interested stakeholders including NGOs and donor organizations will be invited periodically. The working session was opened by Giorgi Khanishvili, the First Deputy Ministers of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia.

“Climate smart agriculture is a priority topic on our agenda. Georgia has its obligations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change as well as the Paris Accord to address climate change. We, in the Ministry, have been working on the proposed plan for years and we welcome an input of the working group to this issue,’’ Khanishvili stated.

During the meeting, working group members have discussed the Agricultural Chapter of the Climate Change Action Plan 2021-2023 and discussed its objectives and measures. Also, future steps and activities have been planned. Participants agreed to intensify meetings in this format in order to achieve the goals and objectives set in the charter of the working group that was officially approved in 2020.

The working group aims to establish a road map to create a comprehensive set of recommendations to the climate policy in Georgia, properly assess the role of agriculture in regard to its contribution to climate change, discuss possible solutions and timeframes. FAO’s particular interest in promoting climate-smart agricultural methods in Georgia through the demonstration of such methods country-wide, was underlined during the session.

 ‘’The EU and FAO have established several demonstration plots that use climate-smart, conservation agriculture methods in many Georgian regions, such as minimum and no tillage planting. The promotion of modern approaches within agriculture is crucial to support the global struggle against climate change and also goes hand in hand with the revival of the Georgian agriculture, bringing more income to Georgian farmers while reducing the impact on the environment and reducing input costs,” said Javier Sanz Alvarez, FAO-EU project coordinator.

FAO has been supporting climate-smart agriculture in Georgia since 2016, when the organization has prepared a set of recommendations for the agricultural policy under ENPARD. This document is agreed to be used as a starting point for the working group, adjusted and tailored to the new challenges the sector is currently facing. The results of the working group’s sessions are expected to be included in the Agricultural Chapter of Climate Change Action Plan s and comply with the UN Climate Action Plan to achieve 45% greenhouse emissions reduction by 2030.

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. More information on ENPARD is available at: www.enpard.ge.

Contact Person: Sophio Altunashvili – 577109950 – Sophio.altunashvili@fao.org

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