Natural wooden toys are becoming increasingly popular due to their quality, durability and biodegradability. In recent years, parents living in Georgia prefer wooden toys to plastic ones. That is why Jambul Tsulukidze, a resident of mountainous Adjara of Georgia decided to establish wooden toys and accessories workshop, for which he obtained a grant of 22 470 euros within the framework of the ENPARD Khulo project funded by the European Union.
Didachara village is located in Khulo municipality, Adjara region. Compared to the city, the air here is cleaner and the environmental conditions are better. Considering this with the fact that local children often played with plastic toys of uncertain production and quality, Jambul Tsulukidze decided to establish a wooden toy enterprise for which he used the knowledge gained during the years working in his wood workshop.
"I had years of experience working with wood as I used to have a wood workshop. In recent years, in Georgia wooden toys have become very popular and began to replace plastic toys. This is where the idea to produce environmentally friendly toys that do not contain harmful material came from. It turned out that in the same period, Caritas Czech Republic was implementing the ENPARD Khulo project in our municipality, in which I participated and won.”
Within the framework of the project, Jambul Tsulukidze received modern equipment, which not only made working with wood easier but also requires less time. At this stage, he sells the wooden accessories and toys online through the Facebook page and in local shops. It should be noted that the product is especially popular in Didachara village:
"I have good sales in the village – they order toys, puzzles, alphabet, numbers and geometrical figures. The pandemic paused us for a while but now the sales increased."
Currently, two people are employed in the enterprise, however, it is planned to add three more people in the future. Future plans also include the expansion of the enterprise and the realization of the products among more places.
Within the framework of the European Union-funded ENPARD programme, Jambul Tsulukidze from Khulo municipality obtained the grant amount of 22 470 euros, with which he purchased a computer and a laser machine for wood cutting. On his part, Jambul Tsulukidze built a 100-square-meter enterprise for his project. Khulo Local Action Group (Khulo LAG) was actively involved in the project selection process.
In total, 75 grant agreements (out of them were 35 startups) have been signed with grant competition winners and assets valued at 975 000 Euro have been procured for implementation of sub-grant projects. The calculated number of created workplaces is 300. In order to improve project grantees´ business management skills and strengthen the visibility and sustainability of their products and services, 13 trainings (20 training days) in business management and marketing have been conducted for 220 beneficiaries of grant competition. Also, training was provided in pasture management, sustainable forest management, disaster risk reduction, agro-tourism and eco-tourism fields. In total, 18 Trainings were conducted for 273 beneficiaries.
To promote Khulo municipality’s tourism potential, in 2018 and 2019 Khulo FEST was organized. Also, two info tours for tour operators from Tbilisi and Batumi were organized to introduce them to the Khulo tourism potential in winter and summer.