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Story and Photos by Maka Kapanadze | Project Assistant | Heifer Georgia
Heifer Georgia welcomed Acting Ambassador of the Embassy of Japan Hiroki Tokunaga and other Embassy representatives in Dzevera village, Gori municipality, on December 21, 2012, for a visit to monitor the Dzevera 2009 Farmers Association and its poultry operations.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan co-funded the construction of the farm in 2012. This project assists smallholder farmers to improve their food security, incomes and nutrition levels by establishing a complete value-added poultry market chain.
The main beneficiary of the project is Dzevera 2009. The head of the association, Levan Kechkhuashvili, kindly hosted the guests and explained processes and procedures that take place on the poultry farm. The guests monitored the poultry hatchery, nursery and processing facilities and were introduced to new technological processes for treatment, vaccination and nutrition of poultry. Tokunaga visited the feed storage room where association members grind maize, corn and other cereals. The association has a dry packaging machine and a refrigerator where they keep their products.
Kechkhuashvili said there was high demand for meat-bred turkeys during the holiday season and members of the association sold their birds at the newly opened Carrefour supermarket in Tbilisi. Carrefour and Dzevera 2009 will sign a contract soon for the supply of turkey and duck products.
Tokunaga gave high praise to the project's achievements and advised Heifer Georgia staff to submit another project proposal for funding at the beginning of 2013.