Enhancing food safety and the competitiveness of the livestock sector through improvement of the National Animal Identification, Registration and Traceability System (NAITS II)
The project's intended impact is: Georgian farmers and livestock business operators increase incomes, competitiveness, and productivity due to improved animal health, reduced food risks and access to local, regional and international markets. The expected outcomes are:
1. Through enhanced capacities, the National Food Agency (NFA) keeps the National Animal Identification, Registration and Traceability System (NAITS) regularly updated and uses its data for an effective control of animal health and food safety
2. Male and female farmers, as well as business operators are motivated to enter and use NAITS data as they are aware of benefits coming from improved animal health, livestock productivity and competitiveness of their products on diversified markets
Output 1.1: The institutional and regulative framework and enabling environment for enhanced performance of the NFA, stakeholder participation, comprehensive use of the NAITS and sustainable upkeep and maintenance is developed.
Output 1.2: NAITS advanced modules and features enhance the performance of the NFA and the EU compliance of the animal health and food safety system.
Output 1.3: NAITS data quality management improved.
Output 1.4: Improved capacities, leadership and ownership for the NAITS among state stakeholders.
Output 2.1: The NAITS modules and features meet the data needs of its non-state stakeholders and contribute to the improvement of their activities and support participation in the data sharing.
Output 2.2: Improved awareness, participation, and ownership among the NAITS non-state stakeholders.
Target group / Beneficiaries
The direct beneficiaries from the project will be the National Food Agency and the stakeholders involved and benefiting from animal identification and registration (17 state and municipal institutions with some 1,050 employees, some 200 SMEs and some 100 commercial livestock producers including some up to 10 farmer organizations).
This project will provide technical assistance to the NFA and the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia (MEPA) for development and improved use of critically important IT technologies (databases) and legal frameworks, required for the development of the livestock sector, in accordance to WHO, WTO, FAO, OIE and DCFTA requirements and recommendations.
As significant progress in the development and implementation of the system has been achieved at a technical level, the Phase II project, will aim to secure its sustainability and long-term impact on human health, animal health, food safety and access to international markets, by focusing on development of an enabling environment, participative inclusion of stakeholders and stewardship of the system. Further development of the functionalities, the use and the sustainability and of the NAITS, is a logical supplement to the first phase of the project, which should oversee interlinking with other MEPA systems for optimized overall system layout. The development of the NAITS is an important intervention for enabling the MEPA/NFA to move towards a fully operational, integrated real time electronic system.
This project will be implemented by the NFA of Georgia with technical support from FAO. FAO will provide support for widening of the scope of the NAITS and improved application at country level and will ensure that all the stakeholders/users of the system receive appropriate capacity development for its proper implementation.
The project will also support institutional strengthening for performance enhancement of the NAITS and for added value to the system by:
• Updating the legislative framework regulating the system and its actions, facilitating improved use and stakeholder inclusion;
• Supporting efficient and appropriate implementation of the relevant enacted legislations;
• Improvement of traceability of animals and animal products on national level;
• Enhancing veterinary control measures, planning and monitoring capacities;
• Development of capacities, efficient human resources management and optimal use of knowledge;
• Integrated stakeholder cooperation and inclusion in the above listed processes;
• Improving quality assurance management as a precondition for efficient functioning of NFA in relation to Animal Health and Food Safety.
Georgia’s agricultural sector remains critical for the overall food supply and accounts for about 9% of the GDP. Animal production contributes to over 50%. Around 14% of the working population is involved in agriculture, and around 40% lives in rural areas. Subsistence farming is predominant with the vast majority being small holders / family farmers cultivating on average less than one hectare, sub-divided into two to four plots. The livestock population includes around 1.2 million cattle, 0.8 million sheep and 0.2 million pigs. There are many discrepancies in the figures, and this is one of the gaps that implementation of animal identification, registration and traceability system addresses.
Widening the scope of the NAITS beyond the core functions of identification, registration, movement recording, and traceability, and towards the livestock industry, is a prerequisite to achieve full EU compliance and sustainability of the system. Particularly, since animal identification and traceability contributes to the wider public wellbeing, as well as to the direct benefit of farmers and stakeholders, but depends on the active participation in providing and using data. This is only possible if stakeholders see benefits of the system and are motivated to participate. Interlinking the central database to other databases further forwards this goal. In this regard the project will provide technical assistance, piloting of alternative arrangements, analysis of results, as well as institutional support and equipment and will develop a range IT tools to be offered to stakeholders in return for compliance with the NAITS.