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Jara Popularity Spreads

On December 5th the National Geographic Magazine Georgia presented its latest  edition which features an article on Jara honey, at the National Museum of Georgia. About hundred guests tasted Jara honey  and watched a special screening of  the Jara movie, which had originally inspired the Georgian National Geographic to do the Georgian bee and honey story.

‘We were thinking about doing an article on Georgian Bees and honey, but we were not certain what direction to choose. One day, I got a call from Nika Tsiklauri, who invited me to the Jara premiere and while watching this truly fairytale, – I discovered the storyline we had been looking for’. – Natia Khuluzauri, Editor in Chief of the National Geographic Magazine Georgia.

The movie Director, Nika Tsiklauri, did a photo session of the Jara hives in Ajara. The magazine story writer, Irakli Pipia, enthusiastically worked on the topic and in addition came across documentation that showed that the Caucasian Gray Bees had been exported to the USA from Georgia atthe end of the 19th century.

‘This was a discovery none of us expected. Who knew that the Caucasian Bee had travelled so far? So, both authors, Nika and Irakli, did a great job and we have this beautiful elaborated story covering practically all aspects related to the Caucasian Gray Bee and honey they make’ – says Natia.

The event opened an exhibition of photos, Jara hives and beekeeping artifacts from Ajara. The Ajarian Beekeepers Business Association gave attendees a unique opportunity to taste recently harvested Jara wild honey from its members and personally explore traditional Jara hives and beekeeping handicrafts.

Photo Source: The National Geographic Georgia 

OTHER NEWS
01/04/2013
Gender Guidelines for Village Reps

These Guidelines for the Application and Implementation of the Law on Gender Equality of Georgia by Local Self Government Bodies was developed with members of the Local Self Governments of Dmanisi, Tsalka and Tetritskaro municipalities in line with an initiative supported by the Regional Government of Kvemo Kartli

7/06/2016
Bees in Town







4 Beehives and their inhabitants from the high mountains of Ajara started their new life on the terrace of one of the largest Hotels in Batumi, Georgia, the Hilton Batumi, to produce honey for hotel guests. The General Manager of the Hilton, a keen birdwatcher and conservationist had the idea, seeking to showcase the beautiful countryside of Ajara and take this first step in illustrating the story of locally sourced food and the people who produce it. 

By linking the hotel with the Ajara Beekeepers Business Association, the hives were installed.  Urban beekeeping is increasingly popular in Europe as bee colonies decline and new ways are sought to develop a more ecologically sensitive lifestyle as urban centers grow.  The Hilton also installed a honey showpiece at the breakfast buffet, of mounted honey comb, a large map of the 10 honey production gorges of mountainous Ajara and the indigenous flora on which the bees feed with the honey and comb sourced through honey producing company Matchakhela Ltd.

These initiatives which form a part of the ALCP programme’s work in the honey market system illustrate the great potential of the honey sector to feed into the promotion of Ajara as a great and varied tourist destination.

Income received from the Hotel hives will be donated to children in need in the rural municipalities.

News travels fast and perhaps other hotels may take up the initiative now it's been advertised through the Hilton chains newsletter.

06/06/2016
Women’s Rooms in Ajara

Khelvachauri Women’s Room is taking its first steps in helping women access public resources voice their opinions and participate in local self-governance. The Women’s Room model that is being replicated in Ajara was first established in three municipalities of Kvemo Kartli from 2012 and subsequently in all municipalities of Kvemo Kartli and Samstkhe-Javakheti. The first opened in Batumi with the Association of Business Women of Ajara (ABWA) in the Ajara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) was the first of all a new type of urban and business based women’s room, with the ideas of providing business trainings and an urban connection for the municipality based women’s rooms already opened in Keda, Shuakhevi, Khulo and Khelvachauri municipalities and soon to open in Kobuleti.  The rooms are proving popular with these WR’s already providing more than 1200 services in three months.

The Women’s Rooms are a municipal service, a resource and consultancy space for facilitating open dialogue between local society and municipality officials, aiming at promoting women’s participation in the decision-making at the local level and increasing their access to municipal information and services including on health care and agricultural programmes. Women’s Rooms also offer a platform for trainings and meetings, supporting new initiatives and instilling women’s active participation. The space has been taken up quickly with the Association of Young Lawyers  and the School of Democracy using the rooms to raise women’s awareness on human rights, economic  and educational opportunities. Visitors can use library and internet for free. All of the Women’s Rooms in Ajara are easy to access on the first floor of municipality buildings and can be freely used by people with disabilities for meeting with Gamgebeli and other officials to speak about their issues. Gamgebelis hold weekly meetings with local citizens in the W’s Rs. A Free hotline number (Khulo 0 800 100 109; Shuakhevi 0 800 000 008; Keda 0 800 100 103; Khelvachauri 0 800 100 106) allows rural women to voice their issues in the Gamgeoba.

Women’s Room coordinators and municipal Gender Advisors, were trained on the importance of women involvement in decision-making using guidelines on The Application and Implementation of the Law on Gender Equality of Georgia by local self-government bodies to increase women’s participation in the community meetings, that was resulted in significant increase from 3% (2014) to 33% (2016) of women’s participation in these meetings.

To find out more about W’s Rs ongoing activities, visit Ajara (Batumi,Khulo, Shuakhevi, Keda, Khelvachauri), Kvemo Kartli (Dmanisi, Tsalka, Tetritskaro, Rustavi,Marneuli, Aspindza) and Samtskhe Javakheti (Akhaltsikhe,Adigeni, Borjomi ) W’s Rs Facebook pages.

30/11/2015
Vet Story

Posted by Helen Bradbury: Team Leader, Alliances Lesser Caucasus Programme



ALCP has been featured on BEAM Exchange. See the story below.

Rural farmers can only grow their income when they have access to the drugs and veterinary services to keep their animals healthy and growing too. Alliances has partnered with a national veterinary inputs supply company to improve access to drugs, information and vet services for poor farmers in rural Georgia. There are strong signs competitors are seeking to replicate the model, which is also scaling up nationally and in neighbouring countries. 

The challenge

Over 2 million people in rural Georgia rely on subsistence farming, typically owning less than one hectare of land. SDC has been funding a series of programmes in Southern Georgia since 2008 to improve the livelihoods of livestock farmers. 

During initial surveys, Alliances learned that less than 10 per cent of farmers were accessing veterinary drugs or services in their community, in rural vet pharmacies mainly self-stocked from trips to Tbilisi. Others bought drugs when travelling to the capital. In the rural vet pharmacies a limited range of often improperly stored drugs were sold at high prices due to the resultant transaction costs. Local advice was minimal, unavailable or out of date. This had led to a lack of farmer trust in local veterinary products and services and unwillingness to invest.

Suppliers had failed to grasp the market potential of developing rural distribution, lacking both the information and capital to do so. The uncertainty about whether farmers would buy their products meant the perceived risk held suppliers back from making the first move. 

05/11/2015
Cheese Story

Name: Natural Produktsia Ltd

Place: Dioknisi Village, Khulo Municipality

Type of business: Cheese Factory

Product: Imeruli Cheese

Suppliers: about 450 women from 13 villages of Khulo

Current production per day: 5 tons of milk  (700 kg of cheese) 


The Problem

The 450 women now selling milk directly to the milk collectors of the Natural Produktsia Ltd Factory in Dioknisi, Khulo used to make cheese from their milk.  Women are responsible for milking the household cattle and making the cheese, butter, sour cream and cottage cheese which is then sold as an important part of the family’s livelihood.

Selling these products however is hard and uncertain. The journey by marshutka to Batumi Agrarian Market can take up to 4 hours on bad roads. It is taken to the market by husbands or other male family members or sent with the driver and met by a relative who then tries to sell it. There is no guarantee of a sale and often the family is forced to accept a low price from the market vendors rather than take it home again.

08/06/2015
Female Farmers in Ajara

“Women in Georgia – Tradition and Contemporaneity” is a short documentary film prepared by ‘Netgazeti’ (online newspaper) about women living in Ghordjomi Community (Khulo Municipality, Ajara). Ghordjomi is one of the largest Muslim communities in Ajara and is known for its early marriage traditions, and other strict rules and attitudes towards women. The film describes the harsh daily routine of the women starting from 6 am in the morning with taking care of the cattle, children, household and the restrictions they face in daily life. 

The ALCP AJ programme’s Focus Group Survey and Gender Analysis captured these issues and also noted the consequent effect on the participation of women in the decision-making processes at the community and local governmental levels which is chronically low. 

LATEST NEWS
Golden Scoop for Sustainable Agriculture in Georgia June 20th 2018
21/06/2018
The Georgian documentary Jara has just won the Golden Green Award 2018 at the Deauville Green Awards International Film Festival, for the best production in the category of Sustainable Agriculture, the International jury selected the finalists in fourteen categories  from four hundred and fifteen films produced worldwide. Jara was screened during the festival in Deauville in the presence of the professionals and the press. The Deauville Green Awards is one of the most prestigious festivals in Green Film Production worldwide launched in 2012. For the last seven years, the festival’s mission has been to enhance information films, spots and documentaries on sustainability, eco-innovations and social responsibility. Furthering public understanding and education. Each year the festival draws five hundred films from five continents, with four hundred professionals of film in attendance. The Sustainable Agriculture category in which Jara has triumphed awards films highlighting integrated farm management, sustainable agriculture and animal husbandry which produces food without damaging  nature. This is where Jara, with its outstanding story about traditional Jara beekeeping, small scale livestock farmers and the shifting boundary between human habitat and wild nature of Ajara stood out and was  awarded gold.   Jara was premiered by EcoFilms in Tbilisi in 2017. The main backer of Jara was the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) through the Mercy Corps Georgia implemented Alliances Caucasus Programme (ALCP) within a consortium of public bodies and conservation organizations including World Wildlife Fund and Caucasus Nature Fund. Photos: EcoFilms
Sheep Shearing Festival in Armenia
11/06/2018
On Saturday, June 9 representatives of the ALCP team (www.alcp.ge) and a wool processor Tamar Tsikarishvili from Akhaltsikhe, Georgia attended the Sheep Shearing Festival after being invited by SDC sister project SDA Armenia which took place in Syunik Animal Market, Syunik region. The festival aimed to promote sheep, local produce, traditions and culture of Syunik and Vayots Dzor regions (Please see the Link). The festival included guest sheep shearer Danny Wilson from Great Britain who conducted master classes for festival participants and visitors. During the meeting with program representatives he talked about the specifics of hand shearing and gave useful information about benefits and downsides of both shearing with blades and electric machines. Team members welcomed the opportunity to further build on the ties between the ALCP and SDA.
Transforming Agri Journalism Success to Armenia
30/04/2018
Knowledge is a power and the ALCP is committed to facilitating high quality agri information transfer to rural farmers strengthening the field of journalism in Georgia and Armenia. On 25th-29th of April an international agricultural journalist was commissioned to deliver trainings to 11 Armenian TV and press journalists and 2 heads of the Department of Journalism of Armenian universities in the Caucasus International University in Tbilisi. Follow the link of Imedi TV news on the event.
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