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VET Colleges to Teach Jara Wild Honey Production

On October 8th, the Georgian Beekeepers Union (GBU) hosted representatives of thirteen VET colleges from across Georgia and sectoral skills organization Agro Duo in Tbilisi. The meeting occasioned the integration of Jara honey production as a topic in VET college beekeeping programmes, something that the Georgian Beekeepers Union have been facilitating over the last year.

The participants received the Jara Honey Production Handbook and Bio Certification Guidelines for Beekeepers; and were introduced to two new websites www.honeyofgeorgia.com and www.jarahoney.com and a honey promotion video Discover Georgia: The Land of the Oldest Honey.

This year Akhali Talga VET College in Kobuleti and Khulo integrated the Jara materials into their one-year beekeeping programme in which twenty-eight beekeeper students are attending. At the meeting, Akhali Talga VET College shared their experience of successfully integrating the Jara materials into their beekeeping programme.

‘I had many calls before and after the meeting and I can say that the interest from the colleges is very high. We will provide support required and I am sure from the next year there will be more programmes with the Jara materials and improved content.’ – Aleko Papava, the Head of the GBU.

At the beginning of the meeting, the GBU and sectoral skills organization Agro Duo signed a Memorandum of Understanding pledging to work together to integrate Jara materials into the beekeeping programmes in all VET colleges in Georgia.

Jara is traditional wild beekeeping producing unique and pure honey rarely practiced nowadays, except for remote dwellings located in the subtropical and alpine zone of Georgia. However, for the first time in decades Jara production is being practiced again by new beekeepers or taken up again by those who had stopped. In 2018 the Jara Beekeepers Association was formed to represent producer interest and in the country first, twenty-three Jara beekeepers in Ajara have received Bio certification. Jara honey was commercially harvested and branded for the first time in 2018 and since then the market for Jara honey has grown in strength which is why the producers decided to become Bio Certified to further increase the value of their product. The Jara honey mark was registered this year to further protect this culturally important product 

OTHER NEWS
10/09/2015
Minister Publicizes Animal Movement Route Work

The Ministry of Agriculture through the National Food Agency has posted details of the construction of the six Bio Security Points on the Animal Movement Route, the construction of two of which have started this month.

http://nfa.gov.ge/

https://www.facebook.com/

Minister of Agriculture Otar Danelia stated.

“It is very important that concrete steps toward the development of the livestock sector have been taken. Rehabilitation and modernization of the Animal Movement Route has started. Building modern standard Bio Security Points will promote animal health protection and will reduce the spread of animal disease” – he said.

24/08/2015
Buzz on Batumi Boulevard

Locals, interested parties including the Minister of Agriculture of Ajara and tourists, in the height of the Batumi summer run enjoyed a new addition to the summer time calendar of events with the first Ajara Honey Festival on August 22nd on Batumi Boulevard. The festival was organized by The Beekeepers Association of Ajara, an entity belonging to the Ajara Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Ajara is a major producer of honey in Georgia and the programme has completed a sector survey and commenced numerous interventions. The festival was a first step in promoting Ajara as a producer of high quality honey and developing a cohesive image of honey production in the region. Beekeeping in Ajara has been practiced for centuries and still includes the capturing of wild swarms and cultivating of honey in logs known as ‘Jara’.

30/07/2015
The NFA Meetings with Honey and Meat Sector Representatives

The National Food Agency representatives met with entrepreneurs of honey and meat sectors in Kvemo Kartli and Ajara regions in July. The aim of the meetings was to inform local producers on the regulations and required standards for the quality production of meat and honey products in accordance with FS&H standards.

07/07/2015
The Batumi Agrarian Market and Food Safety and Hygiene Standards

Food Safety and Hygiene in the Agrarian Market of Batumi was the main topic of the ALCP AJ Advisory Committee’s second meeting in Ajara region. The discussion concerned the incompliance of existing situation in Market with FS&H standards and possible risks derived from the meat and dairy products purchased there. Due to the importance and complexity of the issue, key market stakeholders such as representatives of Ajara Government, NFA and Agrarian Market participated in the meeting.

06/05/2015
The Municipal DRR Working Groups Supported by the Regional Government

The first meeting of the Regional DRR Working Group was carried out at the KK Governor Office.

The Governor of Kvemo Kartli - Paata Khizanashvili encouraged decision makers from all municipalities of the region to pay more attention on issues linked with Animal Disease Control, Pasture Usage and Disaster Risk Reduction. He noted that the municipal leaders should understand these are the issues of high importance and the new municipal working groups should have strong communication with the Governor’s office and with other municipalities of Kvemo Kartli.

By now, all seven municipalities of Kvemo Kartlli have DRR working groups coordinated by the regional government.

18/04/2015
Facilitating Eco Education and Rural Tourism in Ajara

A new project “Closer to Nature” was launched by Batumi Botanical Garden facilitated by ALCP AJ to promote 165 school student’s involvement in biodiversity and environmental protection activities.

LATEST NEWS
Georgian Milk Mark in Ministry Magazine
17/11/2020
Our Village, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia (MEPA) magazine with a circulation of 10,000 copies a month is publishing an article about the Georgian Milk Mark (GMM) in its October issue. The article provides comprehensive information about the GMM, a list of the GMM dairies and their products. Rural farmers across Georgia will receive the magazine through fifty-four MEPA Information Consultation Centers (ICCs) for free. Currently, sixty-seven types of GMM dairy products from eighteen GMM  dairy companies are being sold  in Madagoni, Spar, Ori Nabiji, Nikora, Zgapari, Fresco, Foodmart, Carrefour, Goodwill, Willmart, Libre, Deili, Bilion supermarket chains. Details on www.georgianmilk.ge.
Georgian Beekeeping Highlighted in German Magazine
15/07/2020
A German beekeeping magazine Deutsches Bienen-Journal with circulation of 52,000 copies a month published a comprehensive article on beekeeping in Georgia and its history, local bee breed Mountain Grey Caucasian Honey Bee (Apis mellifera caucasica) and Jara honey a special mention of the project’s work.
Improvements in Sheep Shearing
29/10/2020
In 2018, while thinking about improving the quality of supplied wool, the Georgian Wool Company purchased twelve sheep shearing machines and trained a group of twelve shepherds, to provide a shearing service to sheep farmers. The service is available on the pastures at the beginning of spring and at the end of summer, when sheep are usually sheared in Georgia. This year, up to five-hundred farmers were served, with hundred thousand sheep sheared.   Before, the wool suppliers of the company sheared sheep by hand, which damaged wool fiber and the quality of wool was poor. It took time with only up to thirty sheep sheared a day. The sheep farmers had to ensure the workforce for shearing by hand, they also had to arrange wool storage space in pastures and transportation of wool from pastures to wool collection centers. Incompliant shearing and storage was decreasing the quality of wool and causing about a ten percent loss (up to thirty kilos), which was usually left on pastures polluting the local environment.   Now, the sheep shearing machines prevent damaging of wool fiber and respectively, the quality of wool has been improved. The company’s sheep shearing machine service includes storage and transportation of wool from pastures to the company`s warehouse in Tbilisi. Sheep shearing is now time-efficient with up to hundred sheep/day sheared by one trained shepherd. While shearing of thousand sheep by hand took at least three days, now the same is done just in one day. For the company it means a stable supply of wool in better, cleaner quality; For farmers it translates into reduced transaction costs, time and about 0.7 Gel saved per sheep. The Georgian Wool Company first exported wool to the United Kingdom back in 2016. Ukraine, Kazakhstan, India, Afghanistan are now among top wool export destinations. Along with growing demand, improving quality has become a particular interest of the company.
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