A new approach for participative rural development in Georgia – reflecting transfer of knowledge and enhancing innovation in a non-European Union context

Despite achieving independence 25 years ago, Georgia is still a country in transition which is striving to overcome wide-ranging economic development problems, particularly evident through outmigration from rural areas to urban centres and foreign countries, as well as through restricted employment integration. The ‘European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development in Georgia’ focuses on local development in rural regions as a main national goal and offers a series of pilot actions to apply LEADER-like activities in various rural parts of the country. In this paper the application of such pilot a scheme in Borjomi Municipality, the observed case study in the Lesser Caucasus, is analysed. Reviews show a highly committed implementation process, comprising the establishment of the Local Action Group, the elaboration of the Local Development Strategy, an on-going mobilisation process of local actors and the transfer of experiences and good practices from European Union Member States. The assessment of the potential of the LEADER approach in the rural and mountainous area of Borjomi Municipality reveals a high degree of acceptance and interest of rural stakeholders and residents to taking up such an approach and engaging in innovative initiatives within the frame of sustainable rural development. Given the short period of work with these ideas so far, continued knowledge transfer, and enhanced appreciation and participation in search of place-specific opportunities in rural regions will be essential for successful rural development pathways across Georgia.

Issue Date:
Apr 01 2017
Publication Type:
Journal Article
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Published in:
Studies in Agricultural Economics, Volume 119, Number 1
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 Record created 2017-06-12, last modified 2018-01-23

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