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Alliances Caucasus Programme at a Glance

The Alliances programme, a market system development programme working in the livestock market system in Georgia, is a Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) project, implemented by Mercy Corps Georgia and run in accordance with the M4P (Making Markets Working for the Poor) Approach. The programme began in 2008 in Samstkhe Javakheti, Georgia. Alliances Kvemo Kartli was opened in 2011, with a second phase awarded to Samstkhe Javakheti. In 2014, the second phase of an expanded Kvemo Kartli was merged with a new branch of the programme in Ajara and a two-year monitoring and sustainability phase in Samstkhe Javakheti to form the Alliances Lesser Caucasus Programme (ALCP). From 2014 Alliances management, programming and operations were fully harmonized under the ALCP. The programme has achieved substantial scale and systemic change well beyond the initial designated programme areas and targets and has devoted itself to learning, excellence and participation in a global community of practice in Market Systems Development, including being twice successfully audited by the Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED) Standard for Results Measurement. It has furthered learning and practice in Women’s Economic Empowerment and harnessed market systems programming to generate significant impact in transversal themes with a 54% average of female usage and access across all interventions.

The ALCP a viable platform for Regional Development

The programme has extensive networks and works in partnership with all levels of the private sector, civil society and government. This background formed the basis for the four year Alliances Caucasus Programme (ALCP) 2017-2021, which utilizes the platform created by the ALCP to significantly contribute to the goal of the new South Caucasus Swiss Development Cooperation Strategy 2017-2020. This SDC strategy sees a strengthening of the regional approach in the South Caucasus through the promotion of areas of mutual and beneficial interest between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia including cross-border initiatives in trade and the extension of services and inputs through the lens of agriculture based economic development which is considered to offer substantial opportunities for regional development and the rural populations of the three countries.

The ALCP programme is facilitating interventions in the livestock and honey market systems to safeguard ongoing sustainable growth, and is promoting new growth that includes ensuring access for SME’s and livestock and honey producers to cross border and other export markets.  It also exploits available entry points for the transfer of inputs and services successfully developed in Georgia to Armenia and Azerbaijan to enhance cross border linkages. Entrepreneurialism and job creation especially for women, the access to finance and financial literacy that is required to make this happen for SME’s and start-ups as well as  increased income from sustainable supply opportunities and stable quality inputs increasing productivity are key indicators of impact.

Evidence and Impact from which to Build the Regional Programme - from 2008 to 2018

LATEST NEWS
Spread of 'Georgian Milk Mark'
24/04/2019
Seven dairy enterprises are using the Georgian Milk Mark: Milkeni Ltd Rustavi, KK; Tsintskaro + Ltd Tetritskaro, KK; Khiza Ltd Akhaltsikhe, SJ; Badri Gogoladze I.E Bolnisi, KK; Gocha Gagashvili I.E Telavi, Kakheti; Tsolak Grigorian I.E Ninotsminda, SJ; Karen Simonian I.E Akhalkalaki, SJ.   Six dairy enterprises are being audited: Imeruli Ltd Marneuli, KK; Zekari Ltd Terjola, Imereti; Tsezari Ltd Khulo, AJ& Tsalka KK; JTA Ltd Tsalka, KK; Ramaz Nazrashvili I.E Gori, Shida Kartli; Tanadgoma Gardabani, KK. The products with the mark are available in Spar; Nikora; Zgapari; Fresco and Madagoni supermarkets’ chain. Eleven additional dairy enterprises have already applied to use the mark. Billboards of the mark are on Tsereteli Avenue, in Vake Tbilisi; Rustavi; Kutaisi and Akhaltsikhe. Information per enterprise is uploaded on a www.georgianmilk.ge. This allows consumers to look up the products they are buying using a unique register number printed on the label. GMA international marketing company has been conducting a national promotion campaign to introduce the mark to the public and retailers since the end of March. Facebook  of the mark is active with more than 3,000 subscribers/consumers.   The Georgian Milk Mark is officially registered and serves to distinguish dairy products made from natural milk. Follow the links on the Georgian Milk Mark: Ferma, Agrinews, Imedis Dila, Radio Marneuli, Marneuli TV, Georgiandairy.org, Agrokavkaz.ge, Interpressnews.ge, Ambebi.ge        
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.
LATEST PUBLICATIONS
Impact in the Livestock Sector in Khulo 2014-2019
The survey captures qualitative and systemic development generated by the programme in Khulo
ALCP Impact Assessment 2017 Ajara
Goderdzi Alpine Botanical Garden - Mid Term Evaluation May 2018