Story by Medea Tsitskishvili | Program Director | Heifer Georgia
Heifer Georgia and the Japanese Embassy entered into a grant agreement for a project aimed at establishing an agricultural machinery center that will serve 300 households in Kvareli. The signing ceremony took place at the official residence of the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Japan to Georgia, Masayoshi Kamohara on September 11, 2012. This is the third year of cooperation between Heifer Georgia and the Embassy of Japan in the framework of the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects program. The activities in this project approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan will complement an existing Heifer Georgia project that assists the Charity House network in Kvareli region.
The Japanese Grassroots Grant, worth $118,750, will be used to purchase a 120-horsepower tractor and six other types of agricultural machinery. Additionally, an equipment hangar and office building will be constructed. The hangar will protect valuable agricultural equipment from the weather and the office building will be a venue for conducting project participant trainings and meetings. A lack of agricultural machinery in Kvareli makes it difficult to expand farming activities. This project will solve this problem and make the agricultural process in this region more effective overall. This component will add value to and ensure the development and economical sustainability of Heifer Georgias existing activities in this region.
Pietro Turilli, vice president of Heifers Central and Eastern Europe program, attended the signing ceremony and made a speech, during which he expressed sincere gratitude on behalf of Heifer International for the generous people and government of Japan for the constant support and fruitful cooperation since 2009. Turilli emphasized that this project will positively impact smallholder farmers and increase their annual income through better land preparation and precise planting and cultivation, which will reduce harvest loss and, as a result, increase yields. Ambassador Kamohara stressed that Heifer Georgia is a trustworthy partner that is actively involved in agricultural activities throughout the country, alleviating poverty and making a difference in the lives of so many people. Both parties expressed their hope for further partnership to benefit the well-being and development of the rural communities of Georgia.