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Jara Beekeeping a National Treasure

Producing honey in Jara hives has officially been granted Intangible Cultural Heritage status by the National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia. The Jara Beekeepers Association (JBA) applied to the Agency back in 2020.

Jara is traditional wild beekeeping, a practice which almost died out but which has since 2014 begun a slow revival with the facilitation of the ALCP. The ancient tradition with strong roots in traditional agriculture, culture represents a unique way of life. The status recognizes Jara’s need to be preserved for future generations earning a place amongst other honourable Georgian traditions, including, Qvevri wine-making and Georgian song and dances. This status and will contribute to its further preservation and promotion.

It also brings hope and feeling of pride to those beekeepers who are continuing or are now taking Jara beekeeping up.

Jara has been on a fascinating journey since 2014. This journey includes The first commercial harvesting, registering the Jara honey mark, being promoted at the international exhibitionsfirst Bio certification, being taught at the VET college and reaching export markets in the US and Canada. And we can be sure, more things are on their way.  

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OTHER NEWS
22/04/2016
Agricultural Shorts Take Off

Over the last 18 months, programme client Agricultural video producer Mosavali has been developing technical video lessons on key aspects of livestock husbandry and beekeeping.  The videos pitched at reaching farmers through social media and no longer than 3 minutes viewing time have taken off.  9 livestock and 7 beekeeping videos have been produced and uploaded to networks.

13/04/2016
ALCP Experience Sharing at Global Seminar

The participation of Alliances Lesser Caucasus Programme at DCED Global Seminar was highly appreciated and named within the top 3 seasons of the event by the attended audience. The seminar on the Standards for Results Measurement was hosted by DCED in Bangkok from 14 to 16 March 2016.

Women's economic empowerment, assessing attribution, measuring job creation, and using results information to manage programmes – were the main topics of presentations and discussions featured on the seminar. 130 participants from 38 countries, representing 52 organizations, field programmes and donor agencies gathered for the information exchange, for deepening understanding of DCED standards and for participating in plenary discussions on cutting edge themes.

The full agenda, presentations with relevant links and final summary report are available on the following link: DCED Seminar2016

9/03/2016
ALCP Wins in Photo Competition

ALCP photo won in the photo competition on Private Sector Development announced by DCED. Photo is taken in programme financed Wool Collecting Center and it was listed among 5 winners in condition of high competition. Winning photo will be displayed on new DCED website, visited by more than 60,000 unique users per year, and materials printed for high-profile events and publications. It will also be shown at the DCED Global Seminal in Bangkok.

18/12/2015
Animal Movement Milestone

After months of intensive construction work and four and a half years of multi-stakeholder advocacy the first Bio Security Point on the AMR has been opened.  By the next transhumance season spring 2016, the country will have proper infrastructure for ensuring systematic health control of the livestock in place.

The event was attended by the Regional Director for Swiss Cooperation Office for the South Caucasus, by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, the Head of the National Food Agency, the Governor and Gamgebelies of Kvemo Kartli region and the representatives of private and non-governmental sector. The event was widely covered by the national media.

27/11/2015
NFA in SJ

Last week, NFA officials met with 19 private sector representatives from dairy and meat sectors in Akhaltsikhe, continuing a series of the meetings held in KK and AJ on new FS&H regulations. Key issues, which could restrict market access, such as form #2 requirements in meat sector and HACCP for dairy sector, were discussed.

19/11/2015
DRR WGs Respond in Emergency

The heavy rain and strong wind in Ajara last week saw the DRRWG hotlines have been flooded with calls in Kobuleti, Khelvachauri, Keda, Shuakhevi and Khulo municipalities. From Wednesday morning till Saturday night (November 11th-14th), the Government of Ajara and all five municipalities declared a state of emergency and announced the DRR WG hotline number on Ajara TV and online for the farmers seeking help. Municipal DRR WG members, along with a geologist and a representative from the Road Department, formed emergency response groups in each municipality to immediately respond to calls.

LATEST NEWS
Bulk, Brand and Niche - Georgian Honey Export Begins to Flow
05/10/2021
Rebounding in spite of the pandemic, export markets for Georgian honey are beginning to flow and the volume of honey is growing rapidly. In the first eight months of 2021, 117 tonnes of honey were exported to eleven countries; France, Bulgaria, USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. Five times more than the  21.7 tonnes of honey, exported to six countries in 2020. A major recent development has been the establishment of a contract for wholesale bulk honey between Api Geo Ltd in Samtredia and Naturalim France Miel a large honey company in France. In September, forty-three tonnes of honey was shipped to France. A second order is now being prepared for shipment. Strict testing in France and Germany and a new factory and equipment capable of homogenizing 20t of honey at a time mean that the company is the first in Georgia to able to reliably service such a market. ‘This is just a start; we hope to export at least 100 tonnes of Georgian honey to France this year. We want to supply from smaller-scale beekeepers which will help them with selling their honey, which has been a problem for years in Georgia.’ - Gia Ioseliani, Founder of Api Geo Ltd. September was also a fortunate month for Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking (KTW) producers of the Nena Honey brand which includes the first Bio-certified Jara honey in Georgia.  The company has just shipped a second large order of six types of Nena honey to Hong Kong, including chestnut, blossom, alpine, linden, Jara and honey with nuts including Bio Jara honey. Nena Bio Jara honey is also on its way to Doha, Qatar. Overall, since January 2021, the company has increased the volume of honey exported by 110%, compared to 2020, to markets in Canada, USA, Hong Kong, Japan, Azerbaijan and Qatar.  Bio certification of Jara honey in Ajara is receiving considerable governmental backing. ‘We are proud that export markets for bio-certified Jara honey are growing and now it is being exported to countries like Japan, the USA, and Canada. We started to support Bio-certification of the Jara Beekeepers Association in 2021 to continue to supply diverse export markets for such a flagship product.’ - Giorgi Surmanidze, Minister of Agriculture of Ajara.   The Jara Beekeepers Association is consolidating its entry into the Japanese market in partnership with MF Company Ltd. In September they exported honey to be shown at an exhibition in Tokyo in October, after which the next order will be placed. ‘Japanese consumers are loving Jara honey, some of them told us that it helps them with stomach problems. We believe that this exhibition in Tokyo will open up new opportunities for the Jara Beekeepers Association.’ - William Pratt, Co-founder of MF Company Ltd.  
Fourth Georgian Milk Mark (GMM) Dairy Exports to the USA
24/08/2021
Dairy Enterprise Leanka Ltd from Kakheti region sent 837 kg different types of cheese (Sulguni, Smoked Sulguni, Georgian cheese) via the exporter company Geoproduct Ltd for sale in New York and Philadelphia, USA. The dairy is a member of the Georgian Milk Mark the quality assurance label for Georgian natural milk and its products bare the GMM. The company expects further increased orders in the near future.
Jara Teaching Ready to Go
12/07/2021
Eleven Vet colleges with beekeeping programmes have already received Jara equipment from the Georgian Beekeepers Union (GBU) and Jara Beekeepers Association (JBA). These eleven colleges are ready to integrate the Jara materials into their beekeeping programmes some from September this year and others in the spring semester next year.  The Deputy Minister of Education of Georgia, the Minister of Education of Ajara, and the Mayor of Keda visited the Keda VET College and expressed their support to Jara teaching. ‘We received the package of equipment for Jara teaching. The beekeeper students, enrolled last year, are looking forward to getting lessons related to Jara producing; officially, we are starting teaching from a new semester’ – Ilia Kharazishvili, the head of the beekeeping programme at Kachreti College. The handover of Jara equipment is a follow-up activity of the Training of Trainers in Jara Honey Production for VET Colleges, which was held on May 18th-19th  hosted by the Georgian Beekeepers Union (GBU) and the Jara Beekeepers Association (JBA) in Keda, Medzibna Village. The National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement and sectoral skills organization Agro Duo are supporting the GBU and JBA with Jara teaching integration in the VET colleges. ‘We started cooperating with the Georgian Beekeepers Union and Jara Beekeepers Association for integrating Jara into our beekeeping programme, however, we are going to involve them in updating the whole beekeeping programme. We need their consultancy to share with us all standards to improve the programme’ - Bela Avalishvili, the head of Opizari VET College in Akhaltsikhe. These colleges are  VET College at Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University; Black Sea Keda VET College; Black Sea Shuakhevi VET College; VET College Opizari in Akhaltsikhe; VET College Gantiadi in Gori; VET College Aisi in Kachreti; Training Center Farmers' House in Sagarejo, a brunch of Public College Aisi; VET college Iberia in Bagdati; VET College at Shota Meskhia Zugdidi State Teaching University; VET College at Georgian Technical University - Didi Jikhaishi in Imereti; and VET College Horizonti in Guria.  Last year Akhali Talga VET College in Kobuleti and Khulo integrated the Jara materials into their one-year beekeeping programme, which is attended by twenty-eight beekeeper students. The GBU and JBA also delivered the Jara equipment to these colleges in 2020.
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