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Agency Funds Small And Medium Farmers In Georgia

UN Agricultural Development Agency Funds Small And Medium-Sized Farmers In Georgia

New York, Jun 29 2005

A new project to increase incomes and agribusiness opportunities among small and medium-scale farmers in 300 rural communities in Georgia received $10 million, mainly in a loan, from the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

The $34.7 million project will be financed by a $9.2 million loan and an $800,000 grant from IFAD to Georgia, bringing the total of IFAD funds in the Eastern European country to $25 million.

Rural poverty has been on the rise in Georgia since the collapse of the Soviet Union and its command economy because most rural farmers lack access to the resources they need to undertake commercial agriculture, such as capital, land, markets and appropriate technologies

In the four-year Rural Development Project, the loan would link rural communities with marketing chains, expand credit availability and improve land tenure, while the grant would expand rural financial services, IFAD said.

"Project activities will be concentrated in areas that produce commodities with high potential for agribusiness, such as cow's milk, apples, potatoes, hazelnuts and wine grapes," it said.

ENDS


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