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Alliances Caucasus Programme at a Glance

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


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 forms the basis for the proposed four year Alliances Caucasus Programme (ALCP) 2017-2021, which will utilize 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 will facilitate interventions in the livestock and honey market systems to safeguard ongoing sustainable growth, and promote new growth that includes ensuring access for SME’s and livestock and honey producers to cross border and other export markets.  It will also exploit 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 will be key indicators of impact.


Evidence and Impact from which to Build the Regional Programme - from 2008 to April 2017

Aggregated Figures for All Intervention from 2008 to 2017 Key Behaviour Changes Captured by ALCP Qualitative Monitoring

LATEST NEWS
Watershed for Dairy Sector in Georgia
23/01/2019
A presentation of a new ‘Georgian Milk’ mark was held on the 22nd of January at Hotels & Preference Hualing Tbilisi. Up to 150 dairy enterprises and representatives of supermarkets, agri markets, sectoral associations and Government Agencies participated in the meeting. The new ‘Georgian Milk’mark will distinguish dairy products made from natural raw milk. The ‘Georgian Milk’ mark will be found only on dairy products produced from Georgian natural raw milk and which do not contain milk powder and/or any vegetable oils. The purpose of the mark is to promote products made from Georgian natural raw milk, which will help consumers make informed decisions while buying milk and other dairy products. A recent large national consumer survey by the Caucasus Research Resource Centre of urban consumers across Georgia showed that consumers want to be able to buy ‘ecologically clean’ dairy products, meaning clean milk that comes from healthy grass fed cattle and dairy products produced in clean regulated enterprises. The research found that the majority of consumers had difficulty in identifying or being able to buy such products as these products are currently undifferentiated in shops. The ‘Georgian Milk’ mark will therefore solve this problem. ‘We should disseminate information among local consumers about the importance of Georgian milk. The ‘Georgian Milk’ mark will promote natural raw milk products and the Ministry supports this great initiative, which will increase trust and promote quality production’ – Levan Davitashvili, the Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia.  Eighteen dairy enterprises have already applied to get the mark. All registered and HACCP certified dairies have the right to apply to use the ‘Georgian Milk’ mark if they produce dairy products using natural raw milk that meets the criteria of the mark. These dairies will then be regularly audited by an independent body and transparent results and enterprise data published online on a www.georgianmilk.ge website which will come online at beginning of March. Ultimately this will help enterprises to overcome unfair competition arising from dairy products produced from milk powder. ‘The current dairy market is saturated with the dairy products produced from powdered milk, that are not differentiated. This mark allows consumers to distinguish between dairy products made from raw milk and powdered milk. This is a great initiative and I am sure it will be a huge step forward to promote clean production in the country and help milk supplier farmers.” – Merab Dzirkvadze, Manager of Thisntskaro + ltd dairy enterprise. A national promotion campaign conducted by GMA international marketing company will be roll out from the end of next month. The event is supported by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia and organized by the Swiss Development and Cooperation (SDC) project, the Alliances Caucasus Programme implemented by Mercy Corps Georgia. For more details please follow the links: Agenda.ge  Imedis Dila The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia Post TV Maestro TV Kvira.ge
Do’s and Don’ts Antibiotic Use Infographic
18/01/2019
The ALCP facilitated the Georgian Beekeepers Union to develop infographic regards Do’s and Don’ts Antibiotic Use, providing guidelines for the beekeepers on proper usage of antibiotics and preventing honey and beeswax from contamination with the antibiotics. The full version of the infographic is available here.                             
Agri Journalism Spreads
26/12/2018
On December 26th, the Journalism Resource Centre presented its second edition of the agri journalism module. About hundred guests from the government, business and academic sphere attended the event. The Minister of Agriculture, Levan Davitashvili stated: ‘I am very glad to hear about all the initiatives related to agri journalism. Education is very important in agriculture for ensuring information dissemination for farmers. The door of the Minister of Agriculture is open for you at any time and our partnership with regional media is very important.’ The agri module was created for inclusion in BA in journalism degrees. Now, ten universities across Georgia have the agri journalism module established in their curriculum, lasting one semester with a total of 15 credit hours. Four more universities are about to do the same this year. 369 students have undergone the course in Georgia to date. Now those initiatives are ready for transfer to Armenia and Azerbaijan. During the event, the Journalism Resource Centre awarded farmers and specialists within the agricultural sector. The Best Female Farmer of the Year award was given to beekeeper Mariam Kiladze; the Best Vet of the Year was Giorgi Tcikhelashvili from Dmanisi, he is 25 years-old who graduated from the Vet Department at Agrarian University and went back to Dmanisi and is working as a vet. The Best Male Farmer award was given to shepherd Giorgi Imerlishvili. Credo and the EBRD were recognized as financial institutions that supports agriculture, and SDC Project Mercy Corps Alliances Caucasus Programme for supporting agri media journalism. At the end of the event, the Journalism Resource Centre announced the establishment of the Agro Guild, which unites journalists and media organizations, businesses, farmers, public officials, and universities and sets up annual or bi-annual advisory committees. The members of media associations and the JRC also announced that they are planning to establish an Agri TV program, the pilot of which will start in three months. Follow this link for additional news regarding the event.
LATEST PUBLICATIONS
Do’s and Don’ts Antibiotic Use Infographic
Bi Annual Report April 2018 to September 2018
Current Conditions and Constraints in Financing for Rural Women Entrepreneurs in Georgia