IFAD in Georgia
Since 1997 IFAD has invested a total of US$38.3 million in financing for four programmes and projects for a total value of US$93.1 million. The now-completed Agricultural Development Programme, which was co-financed by the World Bank, has contributed to land privatization and registration, and has improved prospects for land market development. It helped introduce rural credit for farmers and supported community participation and organization. The experience showed that improved access to credit can have positive effects on agricultural investment, outputs and rural livelihoods without distorting financial markets.
The ongoing Agricultural Support Project targets poor agriculture-related producers and processors – women and men throughout the country who have an interest in moving towards more commercial market-oriented production. The project is introducing rural leasing to enable smallholder farmers and small and medium sized agro-processing firms who previously could not afford taking loans because they had few or no assets to provide as collateral, to participate in flexible and affordable leasing contracts. This win-win arrangement allows the farmers and the community to avail of resources they need to improve their livelihoods within a productive, market-oriented rural economy.
For the completed Rural Development Project, also co-financed with the World Bank, IFAD provided funds to support market development and rural financial services. It contributed to building the capacity of commercial banks and other financial institutions. One of the project's objectives was to create a model for microfinancial services that could be sustained beyond the project's implementation period.
The Rural Development Programme for Mountainous and Highland Areas, also now completed, focused on small-scale rural infrastructure development. Infrastructure investments under the programme mainly consisted of the rehabilitation/construction of rural roads and bridges. These investments were consistent with the programme objectives and complement other ongoing IFAD-financed programmes that support access to productive resources, financial
assets and markets.
IFAD's strategy in Georgia
The aims of IFAD's strategy in the country, in line with the government's Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Programme, are to reduce rural poverty and improve rural people's living conditions and livelihoods by:
- Improving farmers' productive capacity
- Improving producers' access to markets and increasing their share of the market value of their products
- Empowering poor rural people, particularly women, by ensuring participation and ownership and by strengthening farmers' and community organizations through training and extension
- Promoting the conservation of natural resources.