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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
3/02/2015
Enhancing Agricultural Journalism in Georgia

For the first time in Georgia a training on agro journalism was conducted for media representatives wishing to report specifically on rural issues and news. The main purpose of the training was to fill knowledge gaps of media practitioners in crops, livestock husbandry and agriculture management and to introduce the basics of agro journalism. Heather Briggs, an international expert and member of British Guild of Agricultural Journalists - was invited to lead a 5 day training from January 26th to February 2nd. About 50 representatives of regional, national broadcasters and printed media participated in the event. The training was organized by the Georgian Regional Media Association and facilitated by the Alliances Lesser Caucasus Programme.

04/12/2014
Government Momentum Builds on AMR

Government Momentum Builds on Animal Movement Route after the years of discussion and information exchange. The biggest challenge in Georgian sheep sector – the Animal Movement Route issue has come to the point when there is a willingness and concrete plan for taking actions and reaching tangible results.

7/11/2014
The Road Was Highly Appreciated at the International Film Festival

The Eco Films LTD film The Road, commissioned by ALCP KK, was shown at the BIFED - Bozcaada International Festival of Ecological Documentary on October 31, 2014. The documentary was presented in the non-competition section and highly appreciated by the audience.

28/10/2014
Tsintskaro Bypass Successfully Tested

In October 24th the first flocks of migrating animals went through the newly arranged bypass route in Tsintskaro village, Tetritskaro Municipality.  Testing of the new route was carried out successfully - sheep, cattle, horses, donkeys, dogs and shepherds passed on the new road without any difficulties. The movement was monitored by the Tetritskaro Municipality DRR WG members and the Tsintskaro village Rep.

17/10/2014
KK Governor to Push Regional DRR Scaleup

For scaling up DRR facilitation of Local Self Governments by the programme the meeting was held with the Governor of Kvemo Kartli - Ramin Ismailov.

02/09/2014
Tsintskaro: Impasse Finally Bypassed

The villagers of Tsintskaro village have suffered for years from the twice yearly flow of more than 100,000 sheep, cattle, goats, donkeys, horses and shepherd dogs straight past their gates. The problem has been in impasse for years with no real ownership of the issue by the myriad actors involved. Now, the local government has spearheaded the movement to solve the problem calling together support from a group including the MOA, MOE, the Regional Government and Shepherds Association which has been working for three years to improve coordination and bring the matter of the Animal Movement Route to public attention.

LATEST NEWS
Georgian Milk Mark in Ministry Magazine
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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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Deutsches Bienenjournal about Georgian Beekeeping