The Greenhouse Pilot Programme for Women Farmers is being expanded
The Rural Development Agency (RDA) has extended its support to women farmers in the municipalities of Chkhorotsku, Vani and Chokhatauri following the successful implementation of the first stand-alone Greenhouse Pilot Programme in Marneuli and Lagodekhi municipalities. The initial pilot programme was launched in 2022 as part of a collaboration between UN Women and the RDA, with 80 per cent of the funding contribution coming from UN Women. This new phase of the programme will be implemented in the three new municipalities and will be fully funded by state resources. The collaboration between the RDA and UN Women aims to enhance the opportunities for women living in rural areas, increase their involvement in the RDA’s programmes, foster the development of special initiatives and, consequently, promote the socioeconomic empowerment of women. Moreover, the development of the stand-alone support programme for women is part of the 2022–2024 Gender Strategy and Action Plan of the RDA.
“The Rural Development Agency supports the involvement of rural women in agricultural businesses,” says Natalia Kharatishvili, Deputy Director at the RDA. “This year, the Agency is creating an opportunity for rural women in targeted municipalities of western Georgia, specifically in Chokhatauri, Vani and Chkhorotsku, to establish greenhouses. This initiative enables them to cultivate crops and generate income throughout the year.”
The goal of the developed stand-alone Greenhouse Programme is to empower economically inactive women within the target municipalities by improving their socioeconomic status and stimulating women’s involvement in agricultural activities. The programme offers financial and technical assistance to eligible female participants to establish new greenhouses. It is important to note that this programme is exclusively for women and that the participants are required to legally own or co-own land plots of no more than 5,000 square metres. Within the framework of the programme, a greenhouse with an area of at least 200 square metres will be financed. The beneficiary’s co-financing requirement is set at a minimum of 10 per cent of the greenhouse set-up cost, which is significantly lower than the co-financing rates typically required in other existing RDA programmes.
The first Greenhouse Pilot Programme for Women, which has already been implemented in Marneuli and Lagodekhi municipalities, was initiated by UN Women and the RDA based on the findings of the Gender Impact Assessment of the RDA’s largest programme, Plant the Future. Under the first pilot programme, 37 applications were approved in the two aforementioned municipalities (Marneuli and Lagodekhi), and women have already received resources for starting up or further expanding their greenhouses.
The cooperation between UN Women and the Rural Development Agency is part of the “Women’s Economic Empowerment in the South Caucasus” regional project implemented by UN Women. It is being implemented with financial support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Austrian Development Cooperation.