IMPLEMENTED PROJECTS > Support to Diversification of the Rural Economy
- Country – Latvia
- Donor – Phare
- Duration – 24 months
- Status – completed
The project aims to help rural households and the private sector in selected geographic areas, to diversify the rural economy and introduce new employment opportunities, taking into account any comparative advantage associated with local, Baltic, European or other international markets. This included assistance and training to rural households and farmers to help them increase crop yields and livestock off-take rates, advising of the rural entrepreneurs on investment opportunities, development of rural employment opportunities: alternative agricultural activities, family made farm food (like mushrooms, fruit, jams, cheese, honey, etc.), agro-tourism, forestry, non-food/industrial crops, light industry, assistance in establishment of local action groups and other forms of associations (like marketing / purchasing organisations, machinery rings, etc.).
Identify and promote investment projects especially for SME companies and private farmers, including wood processing industry, agro-production and agro-processing, transport companies, retail and wholesale businesses, tourism industry and service companies. ABG has developed investment projects, identified financing facilities, identified national and international investors / financing and assisted in the practical implementation of the investment.
An important activity was to promote on-farm processing and organise marketing opportunities for the selected family farms and farmer associations.
Policy advice to Ministry of Agriculture including assistance in formulation of the national rural development policy and institutional capacity building for effective utilisation of pre-accession and structural funds were further important project’s components.
Specific activities implemented under the project included:
- Design and assist in the establishment of co-operatives for production and processing in rural areas;
- Analysis of investment potentials in traditional and non-traditional agriculture in pilot regions of Latvia;
- Advise farmers and entrepreneurs in business planning;
- Elaboration of business development plans and feasibility studies for farms, machinery service providers and on-farm-processing;
- Monitoring and evaluation of experiences gained and dissemination of experiences to the farming community;
- Training of advisors, farmers and farmer groups on identification of investment opportunities and business planning.