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Georgian Honey Enters the World Stage

The 45th Apimondia Congress 2017, the most significant event in beekeeping worldwide, will take place from 29th of September to 4th of October, in Istanbul, Turkey. For the first time in Apimondia’s hundred years of history, Georgia will be at this world forum, represented by the Ajarian Beekeeping Business Association (ABBA), exhibiting the different types of honey of its members and promoting Georgian honey and beekeeping.

Apimondia  promotes scientific, ecological, social and economic apicultural development in all countries and the cooperation of beekeepers' associations, scientific bodies and individuals involved in apiculture all over the world. This event is a unique opportunity for Georgia to promote itself as a honey producer and claim a place next to world leading honey producers. The recent placing of Georgia on the list of third countries for honey only further cements the credibility of Georgia as a viable producer country.

Georgia has been extensively promoted internationally as the birthplace of winemaking.  Apimondia provides the first opportunity to put energy into a new promotion; of Georgia as the homeland of the oldest honey ever discovered, preserver of ancient beekeeping traditions as shown in the recent Jara movie and producer of a wide variety of artisanal natural honey and bee products fueled by the un-paralleled flora of Georgia’s uniquely bio diverse and unspoiled landscape.

It is no coincidence that Ajara will be representing Georgian honey production. Recent years have seen increasing development of the honey sector in Ajara showcased in the annual Batumi Honey Festival held every year in August.

In addition to association members, the trade group will include, Ajarian honey producer Matchakhela Ltd, leading national honey producer and inputs supplier Futkara Group, representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture of Ajara Autonomous Republic and the Ajara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI). Their participation at the congress has been facilitated by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) project the Mercy Corps Georgia implemented Alliances Caucasus Programme (ALCP) in cooperation with the Ajarian Beekeeping Business Association (ABBA) operating under the Ajara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI).

OTHER NEWS
20/04/2018
Georgia and Jordan Share Women's Economic Empowerment (WEE)

On April 16th-20th, 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 a study tour from the Arab Women’s Enterprise Fund (AWEF). The tour included Jordan Municipality Mayors, WEE coordinators and representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture of Jordan to share ALCP’s experience on Women Economic Empowerment integration through M4P approach and best practices used. 

19/03/2018
Swiss Delegation in Kvemo Kartli

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.

9/03/2018
Successful Women – Sustainable Economy – Women's Business Forum in Ajara

'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.

1/02/2018
Moving Forward: Sheep Sector Challenges Discussed at the ALCP Advisory Committee Meeting

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.

08/12/2017
Jara Popularity Spreads

On December 5th  the National Geographic Magazine Georgia presented its latest  edition which features an article on Jara honey, at the National Museum of Georgia. About hundred guests tasted Jara honey  and watched a special screening of  the Jara movie, which had originally inspired the Georgian National Geographic to do the Georgian bee and honey story.

‘We were thinking about doing an article on Georgian Bees and honey, but we were not certain what direction to choose. One day, I got a call from Nika Tsiklauri, who invited me to the Jara premiere and while watching this truly fairytale, – I discovered the storyline we had been looking for’. – Natia Khuluzauri, Editor in Chief of the National Geographic Magazine Georgia.

The movie Director, Nika Tsiklauri, did a photo session of the Jara hives in Ajara. The magazine story writer, Irakli Pipia, enthusiastically worked on the topic and in addition came across documentation that showed that the Caucasian Gray Bees had been exported to the USA from Georgia atthe end of the 19th century.

‘This was a discovery none of us expected. Who knew that the Caucasian Bee had travelled so far? So, both authors, Nika and Irakli, did a great job and we have this beautiful elaborated story covering practically all aspects related to the Caucasian Gray Bee and honey they make’ – says Natia.

The event opened an exhibition of photos, Jara hives and beekeeping artifacts from Ajara. The Ajarian Beekeepers Business Association gave attendees a unique opportunity to taste recently harvested Jara wild honey from its members and personally explore traditional Jara hives and beekeeping handicrafts.

Photo Source: The National Geographic Georgia 

26/10/2017
New Bio Security Point in Kvareli Opened

A new Bio Security Point (BSP) has been opened by the Minister of Agriculture of Georgia on in Kakheti, Telavi municipality. It is the fifth point now open on the

 Animal Movement Route along with the BSP’s in Marneuli, Rustavi, Dedoplistskaro and Signagi municipalities and the third point built by the government in addition to the two points built under the ALCP as part of the activities agreed between the government and the project.

‘We are conducting complex works for supporting sheep and cattle sector development and one of the most important components of this work are identification &registration of official Animal Movement Route and a proper management of it. We now have five BSP and this helps us to manage the movement of the livestock and their health control’ Mr. Davitashvili stated.

LATEST NEWS
Masterclass for New Agri Journalism Students
02/04/2019
Up to thirty students of the agri journalism course at the journalism department attended a lecture given by the ALCP programme Team Leader Helen Bradbury in the state university. Agriculture and tourism; environmental protection, preservation and biodiversity; the honey, sheep and dairy sectors; Georgia’s rich cultural heritage and its main treasure - people/farmers with their strong traditions were the main themes of the lecture. All the students highlighted that the lecture was inspirational, they did not know many things, found different perspectives of agriculture and environment and they will report about the themes in the future. ‘Agriculture is about people and you should do your work with your heart if you want people to be opened to you. Try to understand the process and choose your own path. Be different and always find something new that no one else can see.’ - Helen Bradbury, Team Leader of the ALCP programme. Since spring fifty-three students have been learning agri journalism as a selective module for two hours/week, during the whole semester at the state university.  ‘We see more and more reports about agriculture but it is not enough. Reporting about rural life, people and agriculture is very important and it is our and your responsibility to think about it and be more enthusiastic as you are future journalists or media managers.’ - Natia Kuprashvili, Head of the Journalism Resource Center. Fourteen universities in Georgia, four in Armenia and one in Azerbaijan established or are establishing agri journalism module in their courses. 369 students have already studied the course.
Spread of Honey Promotion Video
20/03/2019
The ALCP facilitated the Georgian Beekeepers Union (GBU) in development of the honey promotion video, depicting the story of Georgia as a land of the oldest honey discovered and unique biodiversity to support awareness raising and promote export potential of Georgian honey and Jara. The video was shared with different stakeholders and social networks. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs shared it with their internal networks of embassies in Georgia and foreign countries and it was uploaded in a Georgian production section. The video is on Facebook of the  Embassy of Switzerland in Georgia. The Georgian National Tourism Agency; The Department of Tourism and Resorts of Ajara; the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture; and The Agency of Protected Areas are sharing it with their network. It has reached the highest views on the popular Facebook platforms Marketer.ge and Georgian Wine. To date the video has 185,000 views and 6,000 shares. The majority of the viewers are emphasizing on interesting story mentioned in the video they did not know before and are sharing it for further promotion.
'Georgian Milk Mark' now in Supermarkets
13/03/2019
The products with 'Georgian Milk Mark' are now available in the supermarkets of Georgia. The 'Georgian Milk Mark' is officially registered and serves to distinguish dairy products made from natural milk. 
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