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12/11/2015
Georgia Interests at Swiss Show

The OLMA trade show – a Swiss Agricultural and Food Fair has been held every year since 1943 in St. Gallen, Switzerland. The year’s 74th exhibition was held from  8-18 of October. 623 exhibitors and 375000 visitors attended the show.

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) was the one of the exhibitors this year. The SDC created 8 country stands including that of the Swiss Cooperation Office for the South Caucasus.

07/10/2015
Bio Security Build-up
Construction of the two Bio Security Points on the Animal Movement Route is now in full swing in Marneuli and Rustavi municipalities. In a month since works commenced, the main ground works have been completed. 

The NFA announced a tender on September 28th for the construction of two further Bio Security Points of the same design in Dedoplistskaro and Sighnaghi municipalities. The tender winner company was identified on October 5th.

06/10/2015
Advent of Agro-Journalism

For the first time in Georgia 6 universities will soon offer specialized courses on agricultural journalism.

The universities in Batumi, Kutaisi, Gori, Telavi, Akhaltcikhe and Caucasus International Universities in Tbilisi who already offer academic programmes on journalism, mass communications and agricultural education will now add agro journalism. The course prospective tutors have just had Training of Trainers for two days.

16/09/2015
The First Women’s Room in Ajara

Following work in KK and SJ  the Women’s Room model is being replicated in Ajara region, where Ajara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) is proving an invaluable partner by opening the first Women’s Room at the Association of Business Women of Ajara (ABWA).

The “Women’s Room” will open up opportunities for the ABWA in terms of coordinating activities, trainings, advocacy raising meetings and information sharing. All these will contribute into stimulating women’s entrepreneurship and economic empowerment and attracting more women members to the association.

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’.

LATEST NEWS
VET Colleges to Teach Jara Wild Honey Production
09/10/2020
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.  
Jara Beekeeping Brings Hope: Vazha’s Story
06/10/2020
   Fifty-seven years old Vazha Kedelidze from Kedlebi Village, Khulo is one of ten students who enrolled in the beekeeping programme at Akhali Talgha vocational college in August. Vazha retired from his position as a fireman five years ago. Soon after, his wife had a severe injury that left her unable to take care of their farm. As Vazha says, beekeeping is now the mainstay of his family. His beekeeper friend helped him to arrange an apiary of twenty hives. ‘I discovered that beekeeping is a philosophy on its own. Sometimes I sit for hours and observe bees working. I am trying to understand the process.’- Vazha says. As a beginner beekeeper, Vazha is striving for knowledge and struggling to gain comprehensive information, as internet sources are not targeted to beginner beekeepers and he needed something hands on. He then heard about the beekeeping course at the Akhali Talgha VET collegein Khulo. ‘I do not know curriculum details yet, but I am sure I will get answers to my questions and I am looking forward to starting the learning process.’ – Says Vazha. Vazha was even more surprised when he found out a Jara beekeeping module: ‘I had heard about Jara from villagers and television. It is a fascinating and very unique tradition. Last year, I even made six Jara hives and could not proceed further due to a lack of knowledge. So, I am glad that I will learn more about this traditional beekeeping.’ – Says Vazha. Akhali Talga VET college in Ajara is the first college in Georgia to have integrated Jara teaching in their beekeeping programme. They will teach the integrated programme from this semester to twenty-eight students. In total, there are ten VET colleges in Georgia with either a two month or one-year beekeeping course. The Georgian Beekeepers Union (GBU), along with the Jara Beekeepers Association (JBA),  is now facilitating the integration of Jara module into beekeeping programmes of these ten colleges in cooperation with the sectoral skills organization Agro Duo and the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia. The JBA developed the Jara Honey Production Handbook: for Beekeeping Programmes at VET Colleges. Jara is traditional wild beekeeping, rarely practiced nowadays, except for remote dwellings located in the subtropical and alpine zones of Western Georgia, namely, Ajara, emphasizing the importance of co-existence between humans and wild nature. It is a family activity led by a family head, with strong roots in traditional agriculture practice, culture and a way of living as a whole. That makes Jara unique. However, due to a limited market, it was nearly fading outback in 2014 when the ALCP found out about it, and this is when the Jara journey began. It is now growing in 2018 the first commercial Jara harvest was 500kg it is now over 3 tonnes. Twenty-three Jara beekeepers are now Bio Certified and many people such as Vazha are anxious to start. Jara is a high value product with very strong demand it retails for 90 Gel/kg.
Third Georgian Dairy Exports to USA
24/09/2020
In mid September, dairy enterprise Tsintskaro+ Ltd in Kvemo Kartli sent 280 kg of different types of cheese (Sulguni, Smoked Sulguni, Georgian Cheese) and clarified butter produced by Milkeni Ltd through distribution company Geoproduct Ltd,  for sale in New York, USA after positive feedback received on product samples sent earlier in August. Both dairies are members of the Georgian Milk Mark the quality assurance label for Georgian natural milk and their products bare the GMM. The company expects a repeat order for at least 250 kg in the near future.
LATEST PUBLICATIONS
ILO Bending the Rules
Catalogue of Agricultural Topics in the Georgian Livestock Sector GEO
Catalogue of Agricultural Topics in the Georgian Livestock Sector ENG