Rural Economic Development in Southern Regions of Georgia
RED is a four-year, €10 million initiative jointly funded by the Danish and the Swiss aimed at strengthening the potato and dairy value chains in the southern regions of Georgia through the introduction of modern technologies, business practices, marketing tools, public awareness and promotion, and internationally recognized quality standards.
CNFA Europe and Mercy Corps, along with NIRAS as the lead organization, share responsibility for implementation of the programme, under the auspices of the Swiss Development Corporation South Caucasus Office in Tblisi.
By providing financial support and technical assistance to farmers and agribusinesses in the potato, dairy, and livestock value chains, the programme is designed to increase incomes, improve living conditions, and contribute to the economic development of Kvemo Kartli and Samtske-Javakheti.
RED value chain development activities include two components: Potato value chain support and dairy/meat value chain support. CNFA Georgia’s responsibility lies with the potato value chain component of implementation.
Potato Value Chain The initial goal of this component was to generate increased productivity and profitability in Kvemo Kartli and Samtske-Javakheti, through the support of sustainable, high-quality seed production and access; improved ware potato production; and proper post-harvest storage and equipment. These activities are designed to improve marketing efficiency and are aimed at supplying a predefined end market. The programme also collaborates with and strengthens the capacity of existing farm service providers, in order to deliver high-quality inputs, advice, and guidance.
As a result of four years of intervention of the RED Programme:
- About 6500 farmers were trained in modern technologies for potato production.
- About 200 demonstration days were delivered in targeted regions.
- More than 1000 farmers have started copying demonstrated practices, using crop rotation, investing in sprinkler irrigation systems, and increasing their yield at least 15%.
- 14 new grading & packing consolidation facilities have been set up with local beneficiaries in both targeted regions.
- RED interventions have provided a total of 11868 MT of Elite and Class A seeds for the targeted regions, reducing the regional deficit of seeds by almost 20%.
- Seven new storage facilities with a total capacity 3500 MT and eight grading/packing consolidation centres were established, representing a fully functional network of cost-efficient regional consolidation centres.
- Seven demonstration plots utilizing new technologies for potato production were financed in the frames potato value chain.
- During the third and fourth years of the programme, this network provided more than 8000 MT of graded and packed potatoes and onions, with estimated value of €1,5 million.
- Two RED beneficiaries have started the certification procedure for this planting season and as a pioneers, for the first time in Georgia, will obtain certificates on certified potato seed production.
- The RED Programme has financed an agricultural TV show called “Farmer’s Hour” in the targeted regions of Samtskhe Javakheti & Kvemo Kartli. To date, 56 Episodes have already been developed and aired.
During 2017, the final year of programme implementation, RED will continue strengthening the capacity of existing and new training beneficiaries of the potato value chain. More farmers are expected to copy demonstrated improved production practices, decrease production costs, and increase yields.