A Georgian CSO, Economic Policy Research Center to Inform 1,500 Farmers and Primary Producers about the DCFTA Requirements and Opportunities
In March, 2016 EWMI ACCESS signed a new grant agreement with a Georgian CSO, Economic Policy and Research Center (EPRC) to help Georgian farmers and small processing enterprises in the regions to comply with the DCFTA requirements. Understanding of and compliance with these requirements will largely determine the ability of the Georgian farmers and primary producers to benefit from the opportunities offered by the DCFTA, as well as to continue operating on the Georgian market.
EPRC will begin its activities with studying the recent changes to the Georgian legislation in line with the EU standards and directives in the fields of food safety, veterinary, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and certification, and develop user-friendly and comprehensive guidelines for the primary producers. It will also survey over 500 farmers throughout the country to identify their key concerns and information needs and share the survey findings with the responsible public institutions together with the respective recommendations. Additionally, EPRC will conduct trainings on the new standards and regulations for selected local CSOs and partners in five regions of Georgia – Kakheti, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Kvemo Kartli, Shida Kartli, and Guria. Trained CSOs will establish the special consultation centers to further disseminate this information to the affected producers and other stakeholders.
Within the project, EPRC representatives will conduct community meetings engaging over 2,500 residents in open discussions about the DCFTA Action Plan implementation process and the DCFTA requirements. The organization will produce informational/educational TV program and broadcast it on regional TV channels and set up a special social media platform consolidating practical information about all relevant legislative changes, success stories, new developments, etc. The platform will allow its users to submit questions and receive answers in a timely fashion.
Bearing in mind that some 48% of the Georgian population is engaged in agriculture and the DCFTA grants the right to access the 500-million strong, affluent EU market without tariff and non-tariff barriers, it is of utmost importance to raise awareness of existing requirements and opportunities among the Georgian primary producers and provide recommendations concerning their needs to the government. The project is also important for ensuring sustained support among rural populations towards the EU integration.