Supporting rural development has been one of the flagships of Caritas Czech Republic’s work in Georgia for years. Within various donor fundings, our organization has worked on diversification of the rural economy by supporting farmers and entrepreneurs from different regions of the country. Currently, we are launching a new project that aims at increasing the income of the beef farmers from Tusheti, Pshav-Khevsureti, and Khulo Municipality by ensuring efficient production resources and inputs, the necessary knowledge, market access and value-added opportunities. The initiative is financially supported by the Czech Development Agency.
Although widely spread in mountainous regions of Georgia, livestock production is currently generating one of the lowest income from all livelihood activities conducted in rural areas, and thus not contributing much to socio-economic development of those areas. To address this problem, Caritas Czech Republic initiated a new project that aims at increasing the income of the farmers living in Tusheti, Pshav-Khevsureti, and Khulo Municipality by changing their practices related to livestock breeding and feeding, animal health, and pasture management towards more sustainable and productive ones.
In the framework of the project, our organization will work on improving local farmers’ access to the market through business development, increasing sanitary and phytosanitary standards, and improving linkages to buyers and finances. Caritas Czech Republic’s project experts will train AI specialists, veterinarians and farmers in AI, proper vet care of animals, sustainable pasture management and production of fodder, and in proper livestock feeding and nutrition practices. Moreover, we will distribute matching grants for machinery, equipment and other inputs needed for livestock production development.
The specialty of the project is the involvement of the Local Action Groups (LAGs) from Khulo and Aragvi area in planned activities as well as the partnership with the CzechTrade to organize the incoming mission of Czech companies and assure membership of project beneficiaries in the Georgian Farmers Association.
As a result of the project, the number of beef-producing farms following sustainable and more productive cattle farming practices will increase, the selected farmers will get better access to the market and their income will increase accordingly. Moreover, Georgian farmers will have an opportunity to get acquainted with the Czech know-how of precision agriculture through B2B matching events for Czech and Georgian agro-companies.
Caritas Czech Republic’s Role in the Rural Development of Georgia
Caritas Czech Republic has been working on the development of rural Georgia since 2014. One of the main projects carried out by our organization was with the financial support of the EU ENPARD Programme with a budget of 2 million Euros, aiming at improving employment and living conditions in Khulo Municipality through diversification of the rural economy. The project targeted the farmers, guesthouse operators and touristic service providers, local food producers and handcraft workers, community members (including CSOs, youth groups, etc.) and local government representatives of the Khulo municipality. In the framework of the project, Khulo Local Action Group (LAG) was established that continued working on the municipal development after the project ended.
In 2015-2018, Caritas Czech Republic worked on supporting traditional livelihood systems in Tusheti as well as three villages of Akhmeta Municipality (ZemoAlvani, KvemoAlvani, Kasristskali). The project activities were focused on restoring and strengthening traditional agricultural systems as well as integrating modern approaches of farming. As a result, product quality has increased together with the income of farmers, and linkages have been strengthened between local farmers and entrepreneurs. The initiative was financially supported by the Czech Development Agency.
In 2014-2015, with the financial aid of the UNDP and the Czech Development Agency, our organization carried out the project in the villages of Dioknisi, Didachara, and Maniaketi (Khulo municipality) aiming at contributing to landslide risks mitigation and supporting diversified husbandry of the community through the establishment of slope and terraced orchards. The key approach of the project was strengthening slopes endangered by landslides by planting appropriate fruit trees and bush varieties.
This material was prepared in the scope of the project financed within the Official Development Assistance of the Czech Republic and implemented through the partnership between the Czech Development Agency and Caritas Czech Republic.