FAO offers information about modern agriculture technologies to Georgian Farmers
Thursday, July 30In collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia new information brochures on agricultural crop technologies and animal rearing issues have been prepared and published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with the support of the European Union through the European Neighbourhood Partnership Agriculture and Rural Development programme (ENPARD).
The brochures help Georgian farmers improve their production practices and learn about improved technologies in potato, corn, and nuts and production, as well as cattle care, sanitary and milk hygiene issues. The brochures also include professional advice on the physical and chemical characteristic for soil and innovative technologies, recommendations on how to decrease the risks of disease outbreaks, as well as information on how to use cultivation phases to increase productivity. The goal is to improve product quality and increase yields by means of introduction of affordable tools and techniques.
In order to reach the farmers, several thousands of copies of each thematic brochure have already been disseminated through the Regional Information Consultation Centres, (RICCs). Mr. Shalva Kereselidze, head of the regional coordination department of the Georgian Ministry of Agriculture knows that getting the information directly to the farmers is key. “The farmers receive the brochures during their consultations at the RICCs, field visits and at information meetings with the local municipalities”, said Kereselidze. “Recently opened regional centres of the Justice houses are also at our disposal”, he continued, “and we have established Ministry branded stands where all brochures and other relevant information are available for farmer”.
The brochures are also interactive. Farmers can fill in the questionnaires available at the end page. This is an effective tool to measure the success and relevancy of the given information, which gives the Ministry of Agriculture deeper insight on further improvements needed. The FAO plans to prepare similar brochures for mandarins, apples, animal disease prevention, and small ruminants care in the nearest future.
With the technical assistance of FAO and financial support of European Union, 54 RICCs have been established under the supervision of the Georgian Ministry of Agriculture, nine of which work on a regional level. All are working according to international standards. FAO also supported the ministry staff with capacity building trainings. As a result, approximately 250,000 farmers (between 30-40% of all the farmers in Georgia) have directly or indirectly received information from the RICCs so far – a significant achievement, given that the RICCs only started in 2013. Recently, FAO produced agriculture video manuals in Georgian and Russian languages for better outreach to the farmers from Samtskhe-Javakheti and Qvemo Kartli. (Enpard.ge)