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"To be a cooperative member" - innovative agricultural production in the Shavshvebi Region

In the Shavshvebi region in Georgia, unemployment is at a very high level of 90%. The region is agricultural, but the outdated equipment and lack of knowledge on modern land cultivation methods considerably lower the efficiency of agricultural production. The situation was also aggravated by the military conflict in 2008, when tanks were stationed in the village of Shavshvebi, destroying many crops.

In 2011, the “Grain to grain - the ABC of farming” project was implemented in Shavshvebi, addressed to the village residents, particularly to refugees from South Ossetia. Under the project, the Agricultural Cooperative “Grain to grain” was established, which generated profits and enabled participants to independently continue their farming activity. The current project is designed to impact the quality of life in the village by organising the work of the cooperative with the application of modern agricultural standards.

"To be a cooperative member" - innovative agricultural production in the Shavshvebi Region

The project aimed to establish an agricultural cooperative (producer group) made up of at least 10 farmers. Under the project, training was organised so that participants could become acquainted with good cooperative practices. The newly established organisation was additionally provided with farming equipment needed to start the first joint field work. The project also included renovation of the municipality building in Shavshvebi, which was to be used as the cooperative’s office and a conference-training room.

The project assumptions were appropriate for the economic trends in Georgia and were a response to the needs of residents of Shavshvebi. The project participants were farmers from the village of Natsreti – the region of Shavshvebi n. Gori, with diverse farming specialisations, including beef cattle breeding, dairy cattle breeding, milk and cheese production, cultivation of cereals and honey production. Most of these farmers have land that is idle, but due to a lack of funds they have been unable to buy the necessary machinery and equipment to cultivate that land. The project gave them the opportunity to develop agricultural land.