“Switzerland’s support to Georgia has always been tailored to the needs of the country and its people. COVID-19 pandemic prompted us to re-direct our focus, re-design some activities and to be flexible in their implementation. The NAITS project, for instance, has rapidly purchased personal protection equipment (masks, face shields, hand sanitizers, and disinfectants) for field veterinarians,” said Danielle Meuwly, Regional Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office for the South Caucasus. “The project has an ambitious aim to build a system of animal registration and health control, and as such, we considered it vital to extend our assistance to ensure that our partners have sufficient time and resources to bring the project to fruition,” Ms. Meuwly added.
The NAITS project was launched in 2016 to modernize the national animal identification and traceability system and thus improve animal health and food safety in Georgia. The project has been extended for one year and will now end in December 2021. The project is co-funded by Switzerland and Austria and implemented by the UN FAO in partnership with the National Food Agency and the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture.
“Agriculture is in the heart of our cooperation with Georgia since years. COVID-19 created unexpected obstacles to everybody, also to this project. Therefore, we are happy that we jointly decided to extend the support to successfully achieve a full traceability system.” said Gerhard Schaumberger, Head of the Austrian Cooperation Office in Tbilisi.
The development of the livestock sector is one of the top priorities for the Government of Georgia, according to “The Strategy for Agriculture Development in Georgia 2015-2020”. The project is also in line with several regulations for the identification and registration of farm livestock, as well as for food safety based on the traceability of its origin, as outlined in the Association Agreement signed between Georgia and the European Union in 2014. The project is also pursuant to one of the largest focus areas of Switzerland’s Cooperation Strategy 2017-2021, which supports agriculture and local economy.
Ekaterine Kvavadze, Embassy of Switzerland, firstname.lastname@example.org, +995 599 952 954