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Levan Davitashvili met his Counterpart in Belarus

The Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, Levan Davitashvili  together with the members of the Georgian delegation paid a visit to the Republic of Belarus. Within the frame of the meeting with the Vice Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus, Mikhail Rusy and Minister of Agriculture and Food, Leonid Zaiats the sides have been focused on the agricultural cooperation between the countries and brought forward specific directions.The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to Belarus, Valeri Kvaratskhelia attended the meeting. Georgian delegation was comprised of the representatives of public and business sector.The protocol of cooperation to develop a trade-economic cooperation between Georgia and Belarus was signed during the visit of the President of the Republic of Belarus to Georgia.According to Levan Davitashvili, under the Georgian-Belarussian Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation, specific directions including cooperation opportunities are already defined."We cooperate with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture of the Republic of Belarus in the direction of melioration and we aim to increase trade turnover; It is also very important to increase the export of fruit and alcohol products from Georgia to the Republic of Belarus;We should cooperate with the Republic of Belarus and implement joint projects. We consider to establish a joint venture in Georgia. Similar projects will help to increase trade turnover between our countries and use Georgia’s trading platform " - said Levan Davitashvili.It is important to deepen agricultural cooperation between Georgia and Belarus, in this regard specific steps have already been taken- was noted by the Minister of Agriculture and Food, Leonid Zayats.Levan Davitashvili, along with the members of the Georgian delegation, visited modern greenhouse farm "Agromir", Vitebsky poultry factory, several animal farms, warehouse and held meetings with the heads of enterprises. 
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The producers were introduced with the new regulations on the use of plastic bags

The First Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Nodar Kereselidze met with the importers and producers of plastic bags in Georgia and representatives of large supermarket and pharmaceutical companies. At the meeting, the First Deputy Minister brought forward rules of regulation on plastic and biodegradable bags. According to Nodar Kereselidze, one of the main priorities of the Ministry is to take care and protect the environment." By means of effective collaboration and coordination with the business sector we would like to reduce the use of plastic bags and save the environment from plastic waste and landfill. The environmental protection is the responsibility for all of us and I think we will be able to make effective cooperation in this respect " said Nodar Kereselidze.The Head of Waste and Chemical Substances Management Department, Alverd Chankseliani attended the meeting held at the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia.
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Switzerland continues to support agricultural sector in Georgia

The First Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture met with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Swiss Confederation, Lukas Beglinger, General Director of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) Manuel Sager,  Regional Director of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Olivier Burke and other representatives of the Agency.At the meeting, the sides discussed prospects of future cooperation. The First Deputy Minister made a detailed acoount of the implemented and ongoing agricultural projects, he underlined the importance of Switzerland's financial and technical assistance and EU support in the agricultural development of the country. Nodar Kereselidze introduced Manuel Sager with the agricultural development strategy and stressed the priority of sector.The First Deputy Minister drew his attention to the animal identification-registration program and noted, that cooperation with Switzerland is in full coordination with the Agricultural Development Strategy.The participants were focused on the 2018 strategic plan against the Asian Stink Bug. Nodar Kereselidze introduced the Director General of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation with the main directions of the strategic plan document."Your support is very important for us. Professional education and training is the precondition for the development of any sector amd is of utmost importance for the agricultural sector as well "said Nodar Kereselidze."For many years Switzerland supports agricultural development in Georgia. We appreciate current and implemented agricultural programs, which are targeted at the development of the sector. The results are definitely visible and we are ready for further support "-said Manuel Sager.   
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The export of Georgian agricultural products to the EU countries is on the rise in the first quarter of 2018

In the first quarter of 2018, export of agro products to EU countries is definitely increased. In particular, 42.5 million US dollars worth of agro products were exported to the EU countries from Georgia, which is 37.2% percent increase compared to the same quarter of 2017. The share of the EU in the first quarter of 2018 is 20.6%.Specifically, the following products saw a significant increase in export capacity: alcoholic beverages, hazelnut, natural wines of grapes, mineral and fresh water, processed nuts and others.In the first quarter of 2018, export of alcoholic beverages exported to the EU from Georgia is increased by 6.3 million USD (112%), which is the main factor in export growth, export of wine increased by 1.9 million USD (62%), mineral waters exports increased by 0.7 million US dollars (21%), and a hazelnut exports is increased by $ 0.6 million (37%).In the first quarter of 2018, exports of agro-food products is increased mainly in the following EU member countries: France (2.7 times and amounted to 6.9 million USD), in Lithuania (19% worth of 5.5 million USD), Spain (3.5 times, worth of 3.7 million USD) and in the Netherlands (33% worth of 3.3 million USD).
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An Overview of the Green Climate Fund Program

The meeting was held at the "Courtyard Marriott",  where the participants discussed ‘’the Green Climate Fund readiness and preparatory support for Georgia’’. The Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Nino Tandilashvili, Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Irma Kavtaradze and Dr. Roland F. Steurer, Country Director, South Caucasus Representative of the International Cooperation Society (GIZ) addressed the audience.The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture is implementing the Green Climate Fund Program, which includes the creation of a coordination structure and the development of a National Program for Green Climate Fund.The National Program is a so called analytical document, which envisages strengthening of cooperation with the Green Climate Fund. Furthermore, priorities will be defined under the project, which will help to attract an additional financial resources from the fund.The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is established within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as an operating entity of the Financial Mechanism to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change. The Climate Green Fund mobilizes $ 100 billion to finance adaptation and mitigation activities in developing countries, also sustainable development projects and programs.The Representatives of the private and public sector, international and non-governmental organizations attended the meeting.
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Levan Davitashvili held a meeting with his Counterpart in Luxembourg

The Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, Levan Davitashvili met with the Minister of Agriculture, Viticulture and Consumer Protection, Fernand Etgen. The sides discussed ongoing reforms undertaken in the country and issues of future cooperation. The meeting was held at the Ministry of Agriculture, Viticulture and consumer protection, Luxembourg.At the meeting, Fernard Etgen has been focused on issues related to the seafood, livestock and viticulture sectors in Luxembourg and expressed readiness to share experience with Georgian farmers.Levan Davitashvili gave a detailed account of the ongoing and implemented reforms undertaken in Georgia. The Minister drew his attention to the state support activities provided for private sector, including ongoing agricultural programs supporting the development of agricultural cooperatives. The Ministers expressed readiness to support cooperation with private sector (associations, cooperatives) and showed eagerness to share their experience."Luxemburg is one of the founding members of the EU, so Luxembourg's political support is very important for our country. We will closely cooperate with the rural development programs and share our experience, I think that in the nearest future a training tour for Georgian farmers will be arranged in Luxemburg, through which farmers will receive an important information in the field of livestock "-Levan Davitashvili said.The Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture, Levan Davitashvili together with the Ambassador/Head of Georgian Mission to the EU. Ambassador of Georgia to Belgium and Luxembourg, Natalie Sabanadze and First Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and  Agriculture, Nodar Kereselidze attended the meetings held in Brussels. 
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Levan Davitashvili met with the European Commissioner, Vytenis Andriukaitis

The Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, Levan Davitashvili met with the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis in Brussels. The commitments undertaken by Georgia under the Association Agreements and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area Agreements with the EU have been discussed at the meeting. The participants brought forward future cooperation issues as well. Levan Davitashvili thanked the Commissioner for active collaboration and support. The Minister gave a detailed account of the ongoing and implemented reforms carried out in the agricultural sector of Georgia, he highlighted existing challenges and noted, that anti-pest measures were taken to eradicate the invasion of a brown marmorated stink bug in the country. According to the Commissioner, it is important to strengthen technical, material and human resources within the food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary system. "In February of this year, after the meetings of the Association Council headed by the Prime Minister, the meeting with the heads of relevant structures of the European Commission was brought into the consideration. The effective regulatory convergence of Georgian Legislation with the EU Law is very important for us, furthermore, European support to Georgia to provide laboratory and food safety control, which will enable us to use free trade regime is of utmost importance "- Levan Davitashvili said. The commitments undertaken by Georgia to carry out necessary reforms and ensure harmonization of its legislation with the EU Law- was positively assessed at the meeting. According to the Commissioner, the European Union continues to support Georgian legislation in the process of approximation with the EU legislation. The Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Levan Davitashvili along with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Kingdom of Belgium, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Head of Mission of Georgia to the European Union, Natalie Sabanadze and First Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Nodar Kereselidze attended the meetings in Brussels.