PIN helps small subsistence farmers and their families escape poverty.
PIN supports the formation of cooperatives of like-minded farmers and gives them access to the information, knowledge, markets and services they need to develop their livelihoods.
To do so, PIN works with all actors (entrepreneurs, information desks, local and regional associations, unions and institutions) to connect them and build their capacity, both as individual units and together as a system. From farmers, to vocational education institutions, professional associations and extension services, a well functioning cooperation is needed to ensure development.
In this context, PIN introduced the LEADER approach to Georgia which strengthens and empowers Local Action Groups to be able to draft strategies for the investments that should be made to diversify the rural economy and offer opportunities for young people to stay in rural areas.
Strengthening Rural Development Models in Georgia
One of the most important parts of the project is the establishment of a network of all LAGs developed under the ENPARD programme. This network –the “Georgian Association of LAGs” (GALAG) – will be a conduit for information exchange and learning across the country. It will act as an advocate for community-led local development with key state and non-state actors.
The overall goal of the project is to improve the quality of life of the rural population of Kazbegi through integrated, sustainable and participatory rural development in Georgia.
Rural Development Project in Georgia is part of European Neighbourhood Program for Agriculture and Rural development ENPARD-Georgia, a European programme designed to improve employment and living conditions in rural areas of Georgia. The project is based on the EU-developed LEADER approach- LEADER is a French abbreviation and translates as “Connections between actions for economic development of rural areas” and provides rural communities with a method for involving local partners in steering the development of their areas.
Sustainable Development of Beekeeping in Georgia
Direct target groups of the project: small and medium beekeepers; staff of Information and Consultation Centers (ICC); staff of Regional Educational and Consulting Beekeeping Center of the union-association Agora; staff of the Laboratory of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture.
Objectives of the project/expected outcomes:
✔ Introduction of internationally-certified methods in the Laboratory of the Ministry of Agriculture and implementation of control over the quality of apiculture products by an accredited laboratory, which will enable it to award international quality certificates. Accreditation will allow to control the quality of honey, which will not only positively affect the safety of the products intended for domestic consumption but will also boost export of products to the international market.
✔ Use of new and effective bee breeding and bee production processes by small and edium beekeepers, expansion of knowledge and skills among beekeepers through the provision of needs-oriented trainings and workshops, grants and technical assistance. It will lead to an increase in the number of local beekeepers by applying modern solutions; it will also facilitate the production of high-quality honey by farmers and increase the volume and value of their apiculture products.
✔ Establishment of a regional, multifunctional educational and consulting beekeeping enter and ensuring its smooth functioning. The center will provide practical and theoretical rainings to small and medium beekeepers, organize a fair/exhibition of apiculture products nd take charge of their promotion.
Introducing EU Phytosanitary Standards to Georgia
To contribute in the increase of the incomes of Georgian agriculture, it is necessary to improve the competitiveness of the country's producers for both local and international markets. This is the aim of the Project supported by USAID, to enhance the positive impacts of the planned national phytosanitary reform, that will allow country's agricultural sector to implement the national and EU legislation in plant health, pesticides and fertilizers, and laboratories. PIN will be working with various local partners to ensure that Georgian producers of plants and plant products are aware of phytosanitary requirements and able to comply with them.
Local Action Group (LAG) Kazbegi
The project introduces the LEADER approach to Kazbegi district. LEADER “Liaison Entre les Actions de Development Rural”, means, links between the rural economy and development actions, that is a local development method which allows local actors to develop an area by using its existing local development potential al development potential.
The LEADER approach has been an important component of EU Rural Development Policy for over 20 years. It is piloted for the first time ever in Georgia. PIN supports participatory mechanisms in local decision-making processes and the district's sustainable growth, as well as improve the quality of life of its residents. Built-in follow-up surveys, close monitoring and evaluation will provide data and lessons learnt to facilitate LEADER implementation adapted to the local context in other rural regions in Georgia, for an improved model of the participatory decision-making process and a tool for sustainable rural development.
It is the basic principle of the LEADER approach that the action targets all types of local public, private and civic actors and individual inhabitants to create local partnerships and direct local resources towards more effective development. The active and committed representatives of Local Government, entrepreneurs, farmers, CSOs, citizens and other important local players, such as the Kazbegi National Park Administration, are all invited to participate in local strategy planning and become members of Local Action Group (LAG).
Together, following on from regional research undertaken by the team, the LAG members formulate the Rural Development Strategy, with substantial input from other community members. Once the Strategy is developed, they solicit calls for proposals from residents and distribute small grants for projects in areas prioritized by the Strategy. The whole process is transparent and open to any Kazbegi resident.
The Action includes a strong capacity building component for all target groups to enable a new methodology to be efficiently implemented, and to ensure sustainability of project outcomes. Based on experience from EU countries, which have a long history of LEADER implementation, this approach ensures that active individuals are able to mobilise their social networks, the level of community participation increases overall and it helps economic development renewal. The individual projects supported by small grants can become positive models to follow. The networking activities bring innovations to remote areas.