Steve Denne, Heifer International Chief Operating Officer, and Pietro Turilli, Vice President of Central and Eastern European programs, are visiting Heifer projects in Georgia. In the coming days we will share more about their visit, but first we want to share this overview of our work there.
by Medea Tsitskishvili, Heifer Georgia
At present Heifer Georgia is implementing 18 projects in seven regions of Georgia and is assisting smallholder farmers in attaining improved nutrition and an increased and sustainable income by pursuing value-added activities and scaling up their operations. This assistance comes in various forms through providing high-quality plants and animals (heifers, horses, goats, sows, rabbits, poultry, and bee-hives) to improve production levels, providing trainings and equipment for micro-enterprises, promoting community development and sustainable agricultural techniques.
During its short lifespan, Heifer Georgia has developed a diversified project portfolio and established valuable partnerships with both local and international development organisations, such as GRM International, HEKS EPER, The Embassy of Japan, Polish Aid, Care International, Agro-Service Georgia.
Heifer Georgia was the first organisation that introduced industrial broiler hybrid breeds of turkeys and geese in Georgian agriculture and supported establishment of women-led poultry enterprises, thereby providing a unique opportunity to women to create a profitable business with access to good markets for geese and turkeys in the area. Heifer Georgia also started a project aimed at rebuilding the rabbit breeding industry in East Georgia through the establishment of three commercial rabbit breeding centers, encouraging sustainable small-scale rabbit farming for local people with the end result being profit generation.
Since July 2011, Heifer Georgia has employed Market for Poor (M4P) methodology and has focused on value-added market chain development projects, introducing functional linkage between suppliers, producers and final markets, supporting poor primary producers to enter markets.