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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
05/04/2013
The Forth Advisory Committee and New Initiatives

The Feasibility Study for the Animal Movement Rout and animal disease notification and control, two key topics were discussed on the 4th advisory committee on the 29th of March. At the beginning of the meeting the Alliances KK Programme Director Ms. Helen Bradbury provided a brief presentation concerning the interventions of the programme.

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.

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