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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
06/04/2015
MOU for Building a Modern Infrastructure of Animal Movement Route

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Minister of Agriculture, the National Food Agency and SDC funded, Mercy Corps Georgia implemented ALCP on March 31st 2015. Within the framework of this memorandum ALCP will facilitate the building of two Bio-security yards with water points on the Animal Movement Route in Kvemo Kartli region, another three Bio-security yards will be financed from the State Budget.

30/03/2015
Raising Gender in Ajara

The advisors from 5 municipalities of Ajara were trained on how to increase women participation in community meetings. Following the training facilitated by ALCP AJ, they worked with the Village Representatives and as a result of their activities, the attendance of women in these meetings has increased by 10-15%. 

12/03/2015
Innovative and Real - the Regional Mechanism of Disaster Risk Reduction

Very soon the Kvemo Kartli Region will have a new regional mechanism for Disaster Risk Reduction implemented by Local municipalities and the Kvemo Kartli Governor’s office.  The Governor of Kvemo Kartli Paata Khizanishvili discussed this topic with the Gamgebelies of the region, deputy governors, the Mayor of Rustavi City and representatives of Alliances Lesser Caucasus Programme (ALCP) on March 11, 2015. The importance of regional coordination and the necessity of creating working groups in all municipalities were highlighted during the meeting.

05/03/2015
Advisory Committee in Ajara - Different Stakeholders of Agriculture in One Union

The Advisory Committee was established in Ajara, which is supposed to be a forum for regional players representing national, local and regional government, civil society and the private sector to tackle key issues in agriculture sector. The participants discussed the role of the Self-governments in Disaster Risk Reduction, wildlife related issues in the region and also clarified the functions of the newly formed Municipal DRR Working Group in five municipalities of Ajara.

18/02/2015
Women’s Room facilitated the opening of Kindergarten in Boslebi Village

A kindergarten was opened on February 17th in Boslebi Village, Dmanisi municipality as a result of facilitation by the Dmanisi Women’s Room. The Kindergarten will serve 30 children not only Georgians from Boslebi Village but also from neighbor Kakliani Village which is mainly inhabited by Azeris.  Four local women will be employed there.

06/02/2015
Farming Has To Be a Profession

Heather Briggs, agronomist, agro-consultant on plant productivity, international expert on cheese and journalist visited Tbilisi to hold the training for agro-journalists last week. "Batumelebi" newspaper interviewed her.

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.
LATEST PUBLICATIONS
Measuring Urban Consumers Awareness of the GMM
A National Qualitative Review of the Municipal Women's Rooms
Deutsches Bienenjournal about Georgian Beekeeping