Oleg Shatberashvili – EaP AND INNOVATION PROCESSES IN AGRICULTURE. In book: THE EU EASTERN PARTNERSHIP PROGRAMME AND PROSPECTS OF INNOVATIVE DEVELOPMENT OF GEORGIA.
The rapprochement of economic policies between Georgia and the European Union, which represents an objective of the second (economic) platform of EaP, is impossible without consideration of the EU’s agricultural policy and development of a corresponding policy for Georgia. At present, Georgia lacks such a policy. The realistic process ongoing in agriculture, in general, and in the agricultural innovation system, in particular, differs radically from the European one. Notwithstanding obvious achievements, they, in the EU, believe that the uniform agricultural policy needs to be changed, mainly in the direction of innovation and sustainability, so that it could meet new challenges, such as: the sustainable development under conditions of climate change; the development of organic agriculture; the escalating prices on food products; the necessity of biofuel production, etc. The next decade will see an increase in the assistance to farmers in the direction of innovation activities, such as the compliance with the environmental, food safety and security, and other standards. The innovation activities in rural development (not agricultural) will be enhanced. Such a scenario increases the importance of all components of an innovation system: education, research, the accumulation and transfer into production of commercialized knowledge. The components of the innovation systems available in Georgia are degrading by all parameters (research institutions, demonstration farms), whereas under a market economy conditions new necessary components (e.g. agricultural advisory service) are not created. This trend runs counter to the European and world practice, and recommendations of international organizations. Because of the above, the possibilities of not only the European integration but also of the revival of agriculture are called into question. In EU, at the national and regional level, there are many useful for Georgia models. The EaP can be successfully used for studying them.