Polska pomoc


The collection of medicinal plants towards the regional development of Georgian market

Georgia has a high unemployment rate of about 15%. Among the unemployed are many young people who upon completion of higher education cannot find a job.

The territory of Georgia is mostly mountainous, with a subtropical climate. The climate conditions and clean environment make it possible to harvest high-quality plant resources; in Georgia there are about 45 species of medicinal plants. The market for medicinal plants is growing. With each year, emerging pharmaceutical firms increase production of medicine and dietary supplements of plant origin. Herb gatherers are mostly families living in the mountain villages. Until now, the matter of training in herb gathering has not been regulated by law in Georgia. Random and untrained people are involved in this activity. This is why there is additional, costly control of the quality of plant material.

The purpose of theoretical and practical courses in Georgia is to teach participants herb gathering skills, confirmed by certificates, which together with the natural potential of the region will contribute to development of the labour market. Workshops on how to run a business will considerably facilitate the beginnings for trained persons. In addition, a seminar with experts will help create a market for herbs and assist in establishing cooperation between gatherers and purchasing entities.

The collection of medicinal plants towards the regional development of Georgian market

The project addressed the problem of unemployment by making it easier to start a business and by contributing to increased entrepreneurship in the region. Courses enabled participants to learn professional skills and also improved environmental awareness. The main purpose of the project was to reduce the number of people remaining without employment, particularly among those with higher education, by giving them the opportunity to work in a new profession.

In terms of the place and actions taken, the project can be divided into two stages.

The first consisted of Polish trainers from the Lublin Medical University (MU) teaching a group of ten people from Tbilisi State Medical University (TSMU) and phytochemical industry staff associated with TSMU how to conduct classes in herb gathering in Georgia. The assignment was carried out in Poland, at the Chair and Department of Pharmacognosy with the Medical Plant Unit of the MU in Lublin, in the form of classes in theory and in practice in June 2015. At this time, a study visit was also held at Kawon, a Polish herbal firm. In July 2015, field classes and an expert seminar were conducted in Georgia.

The second stage of the project was made up of courses for forty people from Tbilisi and its surroundings who were looking for work, graduates of higher-education institutions, and people with non-professional experience in herb gathering. Courses took place in Georgia in the form of theoretical and practical classes and were carried out by people who had been trained earlier in Poland. At this stage, between mid-July and the end of September, participants were offered workshops on how to run a business.

The collection of medicinal plants towards the regional development of Georgian market

The following actions were carried out:

  1. following a working meeting in Georgia, 10 Georgian scientists were trained in identification and quality assessment of plant material during a course on herb gathering;
  2. trained teachers visited an herbal firm in Poland;
  3. outdoor classes prepared by Polish scientists were held in Georgia;
  4. Georgian teachers passed on acquired knowledge to participants of a supplementary course on herb gathering that was held in Georgia for 40 young unemployed persons. The listeners received certificates on course completion that authorise them to practice the trade of herb gatherer. Course participants were also offered workshops on how to run a business;
  5. a meeting was held with representatives of Polish and Georgian pharmaceutical firms, providing an opportunity to establish contacts with the industry.

The project resulted in 15 sets of plant material gathered during field activities for exhibition purposes.

Upon project completion:

  • 10 scientists from Georgia received certificates of completion of a training course on herb gathering;
  • 40 people from Georgia received certificates of completion of a training course on herb gathering and certificates of completion for workshops entitled “Running a business;”
  • 310 course hours were carried out;
  • 20 hours of outdoor classes were carried out;
  • the Chair of Pharmacognosy of the Tbilisi Medical University was furnished with equipment and reagents needed for conducting courses, including 10 microscopes.