Farming Support Initiative (FSI)
The project’s intended impact will be: Poverty and exclusion in rural areas of Georgia are reduced thanks to higher incomes and improved market positions of small-scale businesses in the agricultural sector.
The project’s expected outcome will be: Small-scale farmers in selected regions strengthen their position in the system and increase their income thanks to an improved productivity, diversified products and better access to markets.
The expected outputs from the project are:
Output 1: The capacities of business-oriented farmers, rural entrepreneurs, and agricultural cooperatives are strengthened through demand-driven training, public private dialogues, and vocational education.
Output 2: Sustainable business-oriented farming is established in different fields of the agriculture sector (including rural/agro tourism) in target regions.
Output 3: Well-managed linkages to potential high-end buyers are established through the introduction of contract farming in target regions.
Output 4: An environmentally sustainable pasture management model is introduced and promoted for further replication throughout Georgia.
The project’s direct beneficiaries are at least 580 farmers (of which 35%, or more than 200 farmers, will be women). The project will be implemented in the following four regions of Georgia: Kakheti, Kvemo Kartli, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Mtsketa-Mtianeti.
The types of activities that will be undertaken to reach the project’s expected outputs are:
• Capacity development – demand-driven training for agricultural cooperatives and business oriented farmers.
• Sustainable farming - specialized training and award of assets to farmers to provide needed investment for sustainable development.
• Linkages to high-end buyers - contracts with distribution companies like GFDC , demonstration plots, and cross-visits to successful projects.
• Pasture management - site identification, special expertise, demonstration plots, and an awareness campaign.
Modern Georgian agriculture lacks qualified human resources, capital, access to plant protection services, storage facilities, and a developed land market. In addition, data on production is also sorely lacking. State funding as well as private financing is not sufficient for the development of needed infrastructure. There is considerable potential for growth in agricultural production, but most local products cannot resist competition from imported ones. The majority of locally consumed food and agriculture products are imported. Furthermore, the low productivity of the agriculture sector disrupts foreign direct investment inflows, which are crucial for development of the sector and growth of competitiveness.