Rural Development Programme for Mountainous and Highland Areas
Rural development programme for mountainous and highland areas
This programme is under way in mountainous regions of Azerbaijan and Georgia. It has the aim of sharing knowledge and expertise to overcome common constraints and encourage synergies in mountain development between the two countries. It is intended to be the first phase of a long-term development programme to be replicated in other mountainous areas. The programme addresses the specific needs of communities of diverse ethnic groups living in districts with different types of mountainous terrain, different kinds of livestock management and crop production systems, and different climatic variations.
The programme targets districts where a high proportion of the population lives above an altitude of 500 m, and where about 44 per cent of the people live above 1,000 m. Farmers in these remote areas face difficulties including plots that are small on average and are often located on steeply sloping or degraded land, and a lack of pasture for grazing livestock.
The programme's objective is to improve living conditions and raise incomes for mountain communities in a way that is sustainable, while helping protect and restore the environment. Programme activities include:
- strengthening local capacity for better participation in the market economy
- improving access to financial, technical and commercial services
- developing community-based institutions responsible for rehabilitating and protecting the environment
- raising productivity for livestock and crops
- supporting the development of processing and marketing initiatives