The EU and FAO awarded a matching grant of USD 150,000 to Biochimpharm, a Georgian biotech company that gained worldwide recognition producing bacteriophages – a sustainable alternative to antibiotics.
The grant is aimed to support “PowerPhage” production, a bacteriophage, natural antimicrobial veterinary solution, which reduces the use of antibiotics in meat production, with a focus on poultry farms.
The matching grant is a part of a total USD 1,000,000 investment, raised by the company, aimed to allow a 300% increase in PowerPhage production. The investment is mainly destined to upgrade the manufacturing line, to ensure EU good manufacturing practice compliance.
“The widespread use of antibiotics in poultry farms increases health risks for consumers. Biochimpharm’s innovative products provide a Georgian-made alternative to veterinary antibiotics. With the EU and FAO support, the company will be able to further develop its product, increase production and meet EU standards. This is one example of the support the European Union provides to Georgian businesses under its ENPARD and EU4Business programmes,” – stated Dominik Papenheim, Team Leader for Economic Development and Market Opportunities at the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia.
“Today, through the EU-funded ENPARD III program, FAO is very happy to support an innovative actor of the poultry value chain: Biochimpharm. Our financial support will help increase the production capacity by 300%, bringing opportunities for the grantee to reinforce its export markets and to continue its efforts in the development of very promising products. This is part of the value chain approach we are promoting, linking stakeholders from farm to fork,” – stated Javier Sanz Alvarez, FAO Programme Coordinator.
Biochimpharm, a Georgian-based biotech company, has over 80 years of accumulated experience in research and development and the production of bacteriophages. The company is ISO 9001-2015 certified, holds 12 registered products and two international patents under its name. With more than 40 employees, the company currently exports its products to eight countries outside Georgia and is a legally authorized pharmaceutical manufacturer. The EU and FAO grant is expected to create new jobs and help the company grasp its tremendous export potential on the EU market.
FAO and EU support to the company is implemented under the European Neighborhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD III). It aims to address structural and systemic challenges that hamper rural development in Georgia and have a negative impact on the rural population and on the natural environment. Between March and December 2020, the programme awarded 132 matching grants with a total amount of up to 8.5 million GEL to Georgian farmers, entrepreneurs, cooperatives, or small and medium businesses in rural areas.
The EU is supporting agriculture and rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD programme. Implemented since 2013 with a total budget of EUR 234.5 million, the main goal of ENPARD is to provide economic opportunities in rural areas and reduce poverty in Georgia. More information on ENPARD is available at: www.enpard.ge.