Agriculture as a source of employment and household income remains central to the Eastern Partners’ economies. Agriculture and rural development, therefore, play a key role in increasing employment, reducing poverty and strengthening the countries in the region. The EU promotes the development of sustainable and inclusive agriculture and rural development policies through programmes like ENPARD. The EU invests in modernisation of equipment and farming techniques, crop diversification, income-generating activities in the rural areas and the creation of value chains. Assistance is also provided to help address the degradation of natural resources and to tackle environmental challenges arising from climate change.