Alliances Caucasus Programme in Georgia (ALCP)
The purpose of the project is: Poverty and exclusion in rural areas of Georgia and in border and other regions of Armenia and Azerbaijan are reduced thanks to higher incomes and employment opportunities in more sustainable livestock, honey and related market systems.
The project's expected outcomes are:
Outcome 1: Livestock and honey producers in Georgia strengthen their position in the market system and increase their income thanks to reliable market access to diversified opportunities from sustainable small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) in the meat, dairy, honey and wool sectors
Outcome 2: Livestock and honey producers increase profitability thanks to stronger regional linkages and cross-border availability of inputs and business development services between Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan
Outcome 3: Growing cross-border trade and export opportunities both within the South Caucasus and the larger region offers more diversified market access and terms of trade to livestock and honey producers
The project targets up to 40,000 small to medium livestock and honey producers, rural inhabitants who are at least partially dependent on livestock and honey as main incomes.
They will be able to access increased income and employment opportunities in rural communities. Farmers who wish to transition and to develop more commercial farming ventures and rural businesses will be supported to do so. 7,000 (out of 40,000) small to medium livestock and honey producers can be reached as a result of the additional Austrian contribution to the programme.
Activities under Outcome 1 include facilitation of: Retailer self-regulation/promotion and positive market positioning initiatives; lobbying initiatives by key stakeholders NFA, processors, consumers including use of media networks; consistency of inspections and policing by NFA (e.g. combatting unfair competition and use of milk powder; banning the sale of antibiotic contaminated honey); formation of processor advocacy/interest groups; processor advocacy/interest groups initiatives on key issues towards key change agents e.g. supermarkets, NFA and consumers, media; initiatives by key stakeholders to improve transparency in consumer information on livestock and honey products; consumer interest groups/initiatives to improve consumer rights regarding livestock and honey products; initiatives by key financial stakeholders to improve access to finance for SME’s; financial literacy, capacity and business management of SME’s; SME’s to provide market access to rural livestock and honey producers (Ajara); value added product diversification (e.g. buffalo yoghurt, buffalo mozzarella, and butchered hung meat, mono floral high value honey); value added initiatives including small scale producer/de facto organic/fair trade label; women, ethnic, youth rural start-ups and entrepreneurs including lobbying/access to finance activities (e.g. through Women's Business Forum); ongoing development of the management of the national bio security network; capacity development of the Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group.
Activities under Outcome 2 include facilitation of: Cross border initiatives and regional outreach of agricultural suppliers/service providers, of business development services, food safety and hygiene, and environmental consultancy services; outreach of Georgian Association of Regional Broadcasters (GARB) to develop a partnership Media Initiatives Association (network of TV’s and newspapers) in Armenia to develop and distribute agri-content; establishing agri-journalism modules in the Baku and Yerevan state universities; production of videos in key value chains disseminated through social media for producers, processors and consumers in Georgian, Armenian and Azeri languages; women’s access to decision making models (e.g. through setting up women's rooms; collaboration with regional activities in the sphere of women’s economic empowerment.
Activities under Outcome 3 include facilitation of: Processor SME’s of dairy, meat, honey and wool products to access cross border trade/export opportunities; live animal cross border trade/export including chilled processed Halal meat and other export supporting functions (veterinary, nutrition); outreach of key services to SME’s; advocacy initiatives to key export related stakeholders (e.g. compilation of a ‘Guide to Honey Export’).
The Alliances Caucasus Programme funded by the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC), implemented by Mercy Corps Georgia and run in strict accordance with the Making Markets Working for the Poor Approach began in 2008 in Samstkhe Javakheti (SJ), Georgia. Alliances Kvemo Kartli (KK) was opened in 2011 with a second phase awarded to SJ. In 2014, the second phase of an expanded Kvemo Kartli was merged with a new branch of the programme in Ajara and a two year ‘standby phase’ (monitoring and sustainability phase) in SJ to form the Alliances Lesser Caucasus Programme (ALCP). The third phase of ALCP started in spring 2017.
The inclusion of the Austrian Development Agency as a donor to the programme sees the four year programme extend to 31 March 2022 with an additional contribution of 1.2 million Euro and increases in impact targets for number of farmers (22%), jobs (10%) and additional income for farmers, employees and businesses (29%). It will enable a deepening and consolidation of activities in the dairy, honey, meat and wool sectors in Georgia and specifically in Kakheti region, a new region vital to the viability of national agricultural value chains, which also underpin export. ALCP interventions in these sectors are national in scope and include: The stabilization and sustainability of a national SME dairy sector with the Georgian Milk mark, the creation of a viable honey sector feeding sustainable export from an inclusive base of suppliers, the stable growth of a sustainable processed sheep meat sector and diversifying the wool export market into graded greasy wool and value addition through washed wool export.