Rural Economic Development in Southern Regions of Georgia


The Rural Economic Development Program (RED) (2012-2016) for the Southern Regions of Georgia was a joint Danish-Swiss program 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 potato, dairy and livestock value chains.


  1. Improved Productivity and Marketing: The program advised and provided guidance on production and marketing of seed and ware potatoes, raw milk and other dairy products.
  2. Boosted Investment in Key Value Chains: RED stimulated direct private investment in program-targeted activities using two financing mechanisms: a secured lending facility and a co-investment fund.

The impact of RED 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, dairy and livestock value chains, targeted value chain actors – including farmers – reached higher productivity and improved incomes, in turn, leading to economic growth of the region.