Rural Economic Development in Southern Regions of Georgia

The Rural Economic Development Program (RED) for the Southern Regions of Georgia was a joint Danish-Swiss project that aimed to contribute to the economic growth of the agriculture sector and reduce poverty in the Samtskhe-Javakheti and Kvemo Kartli regions. The four-year, $11.5 million Rural Economic Development Program focused on three main initiatives: increased productivity and profitability of seed and ware potato producers; increased productivity and profitability of commercial dairies, milk, and beef producers; and private investment in the potato, dairy, and livestock value chains.

Program Approach:

  • Advised and provided guidance on production and marketing of seed and ware potatoes;
  • Advised and provided guidance on production and marketing of quality of raw milk and other dairy products;
  • Stimulated direct private investment in project targeted activities using two financing mechanisms: a secured lending facility and a co-investment fund.

The impact of the RED program on smallholder farmers and agricultural enterprises involved in the target regions was substantial. With the tailor-made Technical Assistance and increased private investment in the potato and dairy/livestock value chains, targeted value chain actors – including farmers – reached higher productivity and improved incomes, in turn leading to economic growth of the region.