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Another Memorandum with the Women's Rooms of Ajara

On 18th of July, six Women’s Rooms (WRs) of Ajara region have expanded their linkages by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs of Ajara Autonomous Republic. The Ministry will use the Women’s Rooms to reach the rural population though disseminating information and organizing meeting on the health-care programs implemented by the Ministry via WRs.

“The Women’s Rooms in Ajara have already increased women’s involvement in local self-governance. The participation of rural women in social projects is also very important, so we are glad to cooperate with this municipal services to involve more people from rural areas and ensure the proper dissemination of the information about the programmes,” - Zaal Mikeladze, the Minister of Health and Social Affairs.

Photo source: Ministry of Health and Social Affairs of Ajara

OTHER NEWS
07/07/2014
Survival of the Fittest in Georgian Agriculture

From the ISET Economist news (http://www.iset.ge/news/?s=survival&lang=en)
By Nino Mosiashvili

The conclusion of the Association Agreement (AA) with the European Union was euphorically acclaimed by Georgian media as well as political and economic decision makers. Part of the AA is the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA). The DCFTA is intended to liberalize trade between Georgia and the EU by lowering tariffs and reducing non-tariff barriers. For agriculture, the most relevant changes relate to food safety (bacterial contaminants, pesticides, inspection, and labeling) as well as animal and plant health (phytosanitation). For the manufacturing sector, the removal of so-called “technical barriers to trade” is similarly important, with the goal being to prevent the usage of technical standards as a means to protect domestic markets from foreign competition. “If regulations are set arbitrarily, they could be used as an excuse for protectionism”, states the World Trade Organization on its homepage.

28/05/2014
Farmer Groups: Why We Love Them and When They are Successful

From the ISET Economist news (http://www.iset.ge/news/?p=3311)
By Eric Livny

(Summary of a debate hosted by ISET as part of SDC-supported Inclusive Growth Dialog series.)

There are many reasons to love the concept of farmer cooperation (and cooperation more generally). To begin with, there is a great aesthetic value in seeing people coming together, sharing resources and helping each other. After all, instinctive collectivism was the basic condition of human existence from time immemorial. But, there are also powerful economic reasons for farmer cooperation.

28/03/2014
Farmer Groups: Why We Love Them, Why We Do Them and Why They Fail

From the ISET Economist news (http://www.iset.ge/news/?p=3056)
By Tim Stewart

As Georgia embarks on an ambitious program to develop farmer organizations, it is worth considering both the positive and negative lessons from the experience of similar initiatives, both in Georgia and elsewhere in the developing/transition context. The piece by Tim Stewart, originally published on www.springfieldcentre.com, identifies some of the main reasons for the failure of start-up farmer organizations. The challenge for Georgia is to learn from these mistakes in planning and implementation, and ensure improved coordination among the many cooks involved (the newly created Agency for the Development of Agricultural Cooperatives, the Ministry of Agriculture, international donors, NGOs, and farmer associations).  

10/03/2014
Women of Kvemo Kartli

Publishing the following series of stories is an attempt to highlight the ethnic diversity of Kvemo Kartli. We are going to tell you the stories of five women living in various parts of Kvemo Kartli; these women have different lifestyles and represent different cultures, but they still have a lot in common. This is their history in stories. Stories of work, endurance, taboos, restriction, dignity, honesty and womanhood. You will not see figures and percentages here; this is not a quantitative survey. These are stories that allow us to build on those figures and percentages and enable us to develop profiles of Ajarian, Svan, Azeri, Armenian, Greek and local Georgian women’s lives, to understand their complexities and areas of commonality and to reflect this in our work as a programme.

Kvemo Kartli is one of the most ethnically diverse regions of Georgia. Ethnic diversity has developed over centuries and many contrasts and cultural differences have accumulated in this region; the study and management of these contrasts and differences and the development of models for peaceful cohabitation is not an easy task. Cultural, ethnic and language differences can be seen in every detail of life. Differences are present in rural and urban areas, in highlands and lowlands, in methods of doing business. Our objective in recording these stories was to attempt to create a profile of these women, to listen to them and build the picture of their lives, to understand the effects that culture and ethnic origin have on their lives, to see what opportunities they have and how they use or fail to use these opportunities, if they have them at all.

The Baboyans from
Village Kush

Women from
Kamarlo

 Greek Woman
from Tsalka

 Nazi Bolkvadze
 and her Friends

Natela Argvliani's
Family

05/03/2014
The Baboyans from Village Kush

Armenians have been living in Kvemo Kartli for centuries. According to the 2002 census 31,777 out of 497,530 Kvemo Kartli residents were Armenians. The number of Armenians is highest in Tsalka where 11,484 Armenians live, out of a total population of 20977. The advent of Armenians in Georgia was related to the movement of people during the Arab, Turk-Seljuk, Mongolian, Turkmen, Kizilbash, Ottoman Turk and other invasions. Several major settlements of Armenians took place in 1828-1829, during the Russian-Turkish war

04/03/2014
Pikria, Phanura and Other Women from Kamarlo

Azerbaijanis living in Kvemo Kartli are Turkic-speaking people representing the legacy of the conquerors that came to this area at different times. in the 1926 Census they were referred to as Azerbaijanis. The Azeri population that settled in Kartli is comprised of two streams of migrants: 1. The Turkish-speaking population that was resettled between 15th-18th centuries; they went through the heaviest psychological and physical stress before they adapted to the new place. 2. Migrants who moved from one place to another to improve living conditions having adapted to the new environment. Currently the Azeri population in Georgia numbers 224,606. They mainly reside in Bolnisi, Dmanisi, Gardabani and Marneuli districts, mostly in district centers apart from in Dmanisi muniiciaplity where there are many Azeri villages. Some live in Tetritskaro and Tsalka districts.

LATEST NEWS
Swiss Delegation in Kvemo Kartli
19/03/2018
On March 16th, 2018 the Alliances Caucasus Programme (www.alcp.ge) funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC and implemented by Mercy Corps in Georgia, hosted eighteen Swiss Ambassadors and Mission Directors of Development Cooperation of Switzerland from Azerbaijan, Moldova, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan as well as representatives of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs’ headquarters in Bern.  The visit was part of a regional seminar hosted by the Swiss Ambassador to Georgia and Head of Mission Olivier Burki, Regional Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office in Georgia. The delegation visited the ALCP supported Roki Ltd a national veterinary inputs supplier; Wool Exporter The Georgian Wool Company; Rustavi Bio Security Point of five such points on the Animal Movement Route for the control of livestock disease; Milkeni Cheese Factory in Rustavi; Marmot Machinery Ltd an  farm inputs supplier and exporter to Armenia and Marneuli Municipality Women’s Room. Georgian government officials accompanied the visit: The Governor of Kvemo Kartli Region and Head of the Regional Division of the National Food Agency met visitors at Rustavi Bio Security Point, they emphasised high importance of this Point and how it helps to prevent spreading of animal disease. The Mayor of Marneuli Municipality hosted visitors at Marneuli Municipality Women’s Room and highlighted the importance of women’s engagement in local decision making process and the role of Women’s Room to empower the local women and help them to better access public services and funding.   
Successful Women – Sustainable Economy – Women's Business Forum in Ajara
9/03/2018
'This forum is the first steps where women economic empowerment starts from. The Ajara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) is ready to support women entrepreneurs and startups. Through the Women’s Room of ACCI we will help them in preparing Business Plans, liaising new business contacts and follow up their way of achieving success in businesses’ - Tamaz Shavadze, Chairman of ACCI. The National Women Business Forum for  300 participants including 180 women entrepreneurs from all regions of Georgia as well as public, private and civil sector organizations concerned with women’s entrepreneurship was held in Batumi on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2018. Participants were enthused and galvanized by the stories of successful women entrepreneurs from all walks of life who made up the first part of the forum. Stalls of banks, input supply companies, private sector business support companies and civil societies were set up in the lobby. 'I have never met so many women entrepreneurs and I would like to use this opportunity for exchanging information and experience' – Nino Giorgadze, Entrepreneur from Shida Kartli Region. The event built on the success of the Ajara Business Women’s Forum held of the previous year, brainchild of the Ajara Chamber of Commerce and it’s Ajara Business Women’s Association and the Ajara network of Women’s Rooms. This year’s event saw the Georgian Chamber of Commerce and numerous NGOs join the events support network. This year’s event showcased successful women entrepreneurs from all over Georgia, discussed challenges, introduced opportunities and market matched funds to needs improve communication between entrepreneurs and those with funds to invest in them. EBRD, Bank of Georgia, TBC Bank and Credo Bank were all represented at the forum as were numerous private sector with a stake in seeing successful development of women’s business. ‘I am from Racha, Oni municipality. I run a small guesthouse in my village and arrived here with a hope to find out resources for developing my business’ – Ekaterine Tsikhiseli, from Racha Region.
Moving Forward: Sheep Sector Challenges Discussed at the ALCP Advisory Committee Meeting
1/02/2018
Management of Animal Movement Route (AMR) and Bio Security Points (BSPs) were the main topics discussed at the ALCP’s 9th Advisory Committee meeting on January 31st, 2018. The Minister of Agriculture highlighted the importance of AMR and its Bio Security Points, their importance in underpinning  animal healthcare and livestock export and the need for continued efforts to ensure progress in his opening speech. ‘Despite the positive dynamics there are still challenges and the governmental, non-governmental and private sectors should consolidate to overcome them’ - stated Mr. Davitashvili. Existing gaps in management as well as the positive impact of BSPs were highlighted  at the meeting.  A short film: What shepherds think about the BSP’s available at ALCP/Videos allowed shepherds views to be presented in full. All participants debated responsibility for managing the AMR and its infrastructure. Land overlaps, lack of resting areas, watering points at the Route, issues of concern for decades - were also discussed. ‘I think inclusion of self-governments in provision of BSPs’ operation is quite possible, local residents can be hired there and I’m ready to discuss this issue with the heads of local municipalities of Kvemo Kartli” - Grigol Nemsadze - The State Representative-Governor of KK Region. As a result of this meeting the Regional Government of Kvemo Kartli and the Ministry of Economy have agreed to work together for final resolution of contested land on the route. Existing infrastructural gaps at BSP’s will be also solved in time for spring season, stated  the Head of the NFA. With regards to BSP’s management and its future ownership the issue is clearly on the table for further facilitation and discussion with all interested parties to find the best solution and develop pertinent strategy going forward.
LATEST PUBLICATIONS
Practitioners’ Notes on Monitoring and Results Measurement
BS Report Georgia & Armenia 2018
Alliances Caucasus Programme Bi Annual Report 2017