The Ashgabat Yildyz Hotel hosted the seventh working meeting of the Steering Committee on the European Union Project Promotion of Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development in Turkmenistan – PHASE III. The meeting was attended by project managers from Turkmenistan and EU, representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment Protection, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance and Economy, as well as the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.
The SARD III Project is aimed at development of a small and medium-sized entrepreneurship in the agro-industrial complex, the introduction of international standards and advanced technologies in accordance with the Program of Socio-Economic Development of Turkmenistan for 2019-2025, development of the high-quality and competitive production.
Project specialists familiarized participants with the outcomes of a previous meeting and presented the activities planned for the upcoming period, which include training for specialists of the Veterinary Service of Turkmenistan, business coaching for local agricultural producers, the establishment of practical guidelines for the export of agricultural products to EU, Kazakhstan and Russia, etc., as well as development of effective market relations, and building up an agricultural supply chain in the food and water sector.
During the meeting, Ambassador of the European Union Delegation to Turkmenistan Diego Ruiz Alonso noted that cooperation between the EU and Turkmenistan is based on the priorities of the Government of Turkmenistan. This project is indicative of this cooperation, since it deals with food safety, export development, and the agricultural industry, as well as aims to develop the private sector and villages. One of the main aspects of this project is the improvement of the rational water and land resources use technique, as well as the promotion of environmental safety.
Speaking online, EU representative in the Republic of Kazakhstan Sylvia Petropaolo and SARD III Project Manager Arthur Russell outlined the project implementation progress made over the six past months since the last working meeting, set further specific goals of this project.
The meeting participants also emphasized that the SARD III Project was extended for another three months in order to carry out the work planned, but postponed due to the world coronavirus pandemic. Video conferences are not applicable in these processes, since they require direct visits by experts to some pilot farms and greenhouses.
The project, which meets the objectives set for the agricultural sector, will allow accelerating the transition of the country’s agriculture to European standards, and will help further increase agricultural exports.