The 3rd Farmers’ Congress was held in Tbilisi, Georgia. 141 farmer delegates throughout Georgia met with the official decision-makers in the field of agriculture to discuss the challenges of agrarian sector in the country.
The Farmers’ Congress was preceded by the regional meetings, which took place in April 2017 in 9 regions of Georgia.
The Congress was held in the framework of the European Union funded project “Improving National Food Security Strategy and Support of Smallholder Farmers”. The project is implemented by Oxfam Georgia in a partnership with the Biological farming Association “Elkana”.
At the event welcoming speeches were delivered by the Minister of Agriculture Mr. Levan Davitashvili, Head of Agricultural Cooperatives Development Agency Mr. Giorgi Misheladze, Head of Agrarian Committee of the Parliament of Georgia, Mr. Otar Danelia, Programme Manager of EU Delegation to Georgia Mrs. Nunu Mosiashvili, Director of the Biological Farming Association “Elkana”, Mrs. Mariam Jorjadze and President of Georgian Farmers’ Association, Mrs. Nino Zambakhidze.
This year the farmers all around Georgia will prioritize the issues related to the farmers` cooperative challenges, market access barriers for small holder farmers and challenges to the access to finances and will discuss the possible ways to overcome those challenges.
This year the congress was attended in total by 250 participants, including small holders, agricultural cooperatives, women farmers, decision-makers, international organizations, Georgian Alliance for Agriculture and Rural Development (GAARD) members and other CSOs. Decision-makers were invited from the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia, the Parliament of Georgia, and other governmental organizations and agencies.
Georgian Farmers’ Congress represents the unique platform, which fosters approximation of decision-making structures with farmers and ensures dialogue between stakeholders. Some of the issues discussed at the Congress were challenges and perspectives of smallholders’ regarding the access to markets, the available investments, loans and subsidy mechanisms for smallholder farmers and cooperatives. During the Congress participants could follow-up on the previous Congress appeal text, which was sent to the international organizations and government (Prime-Minister’s Office, Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia, Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia, Agrarian Committee of the Parliament of Georgia) for further actions.
During the event, the Livestream was organized on Oxfam in Georgia Facebook platform with the opportunity for the viewers to watch Farmers’ Congress in live format.