EU and Eastern Partnership States will establish a closer cooperation in the area of agricultural advisory system
Riga, 16 April 2015 – Strengthening of rural and agricultural advisory systems that are vitally important for economic development of every country, and establishing a closer cooperation with EU Member States in this area, are the topics of the joint declaration of individual Ministers (Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), and Vice-Ministers (Armenia, Belarus) of Eastern Partnership States, signed today in Riga. It was signed during the international conference “Rural and Agricultural Advisory Systems (RAAS): Best Practices and Experiences in the Eastern Partnership” held this week. The conference assembled high-level rural policy-makers and agricultural advisory experts from the EU and Eastern Partnership countries — Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
Opening the conference, Mr Jānis Dūklavs, the Minister for Agriculture, emphasized: ”Growth is based on a successful practical implementation of education and experience, and therefore such rural advisory and education systems must be set up and developed, which contribute to and facilitate the development of farms, particularly small and medium sized farms, effective production and land management providing them the necessary support.”
The conference assessed the role of advisory services in rural development and popularization of agriculture and the factors necessary for the establishment of an effective agricultural advisory system were analysed during the conference. Participants of the conference not only assessed the former experience acquired by EU Member States and Eastern Partnership States and future challenges in the development of advisory systems, but also took the opportunity to get acquainted and came to an agreement to commence the cooperation.
Mr Mārtiņš Cimmermanis, the chairman of the board of the Latvian Rural Advisory and Education Centre said: ”We are glad that Eastern Partnership countries responded positively to the establishment of a closer cooperation. Latvia is an attractive place where to meet, share experience and agree on further cooperation benchmarks. This is the next step of the cooperation, which we have already started as members of the European Forum for Agricultural and Rural Advisory Services, EUFRAS.”
The conference was held during the Latvian Presidency of the EU Council, based on Latvia’s initiative to form closer ties with Eastern Partnership countries. It was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture of Latvia together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, the European Commission and the Latvian Rural Advisory and Education Centre as the Rural Network measure.
For media contacts:
Head of the Minister’s Office,
Ministry of Agriculture
Mobile telephone: +371 26547332
Telephone: +371 67027665
Latvian Agricultural Advisory Centre,
Head of Public Relations Division