FAO and EU share best practices of vegetable production with Georgian farmers
31 May, 2019 – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) held a presentation of the eggplant demonstration plot in Lagodekhi, Georgia, under the ENPARD programme of the European Union.
FAO experts and lead farmers David and Valentina Kapanadze – who were vigorously involved in establishing the eggplant production demo plot – shared the acquired experience with the visiting farmers, Farmers’ Information-Consultation Center (ICC) staff and Local Action Group (LAG) members. They highlighted the methods and techniques (e.g. mulching) of arranging the vegetable plots to withstand drought, heavy rains and pests as a consequence of Climate Change. The hosts talked about the irrigation, fertigation and Integrated Pest Management programmes and demonstrated the mechanization and equipment utilized during the plot arrangements.
“We decided to implement in practice all the knowledge and expertise shared with us by FAO experts. As a result, we have a perfect eggplant field with a wonderful harvest. Heavy rains in the village destroyed the majority of our neighbors’ crops while our plot survived all kinds of weather and pests,” said Valentina Kapanadze, demo plot farmer.
The meeting was opened with the welcome addresses by Javier Sanz Alvarez, FAO-ENPARD Project Coordinator and Lilian Todter, representative of the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia.
“It’s impressive to see such achievements within this project. The cooperation between the FAO and the EU aims at sharing international expertise with Georgian farmers. The European Union remains committed to working on improving the lives of people in the rural regions of Georgia,” Todter stated.
”FAO together with the EU carries out important activities to develop and improve agricultural extension services in Georgia. Our project intends to improve the competitiveness of the agriculture sector in Georgia by delivering quality advising services to the farmers and upgrading the capacities of the existing Information and Consultation Centers. Today’s event is one more contribution to this goal,” Sanz Alvarez said.
The event was held in support to the agricultural extension services which is one of the components of the FAO-ENPARD project which supports the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia (MEPA) in the implementation of the National Strategy for Agricultural Extension 2018-2019. FAO organizes farmer field schools, theoretical and practical training activities for lead farmers, ICCs and interns from Agrarian University. Moreover, FAO experts arrange various types of demonstration plots of potatoes, wheat, maize, cucumber, eggplant and raspberries, focusing on the municipalities of Dedoplistskaro, Akhalkalaki, Khazbegi and Lagodekhi.
The EU is supporting agriculture and rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD Programme. Implemented since 2013 with a total budget of EUR 179.5 million, the main goal of ENPARD is to reduce rural poverty in Georgia. The first phase of ENPARD in Georgia focused on developing the potential of agriculture. The second and third phases of ENPARD focus on creating economic opportunities for rural population that go beyond agricultural activities. More information on ENPARD is available at: www.enpard.ge.