Organic Agriculture and Rural Tourism Development in Mtskheta-Mtianeti region
The intended impact of the project is: Poverty reduction through sustainable local economic development in Mtskheta-Mtianeti region.
The project's expected outcome is: Sustainable local development opportunities created in the areas of organic agriculture and rural tourism in Mtskheta-Mtianeti region.
The project's expected outputs are:
Output 1: Rural households in Mtskheta-Mtianeti apply improved agricultural practices and implement sustainable local development initiatives
Output 2: Georgian national and local authorities’ capacities are strengthened to create an enabling environment for sustainable development in the Mtskheta-Mtianeti region
The project will reach a total of 2,020 direct beneficiaries in two areas: Tianeti municipality and Lower Pshavi area (located in Dusheti municipality) in Mtskheta-Mtianeti region. 2,000 people (30% women) will benefit from capacity development tailored to the specific value chains under Output 1. This will include the farmers selected to implement small projects for production and business / service development. Under Output 2 the project will target 20 representatives of national, regional and/or local authorities, including Tianeti municipality, the Information-Consultation Centers, the Agency of Protected Areas, the Georgian National Tourism Administration, etc.
Under Output 1, rural households in Mtskheta-Mtianeti will receive support to improve their agricultural practices and start sustainable local development initiatives. The project will develop the capacities of the beneficiaries through training, consultations and study visits for farmers and businesses on organic agriculture and rural tourism development. Obstacles to the development of priority agricultural sectors will be addressed through a business competition open for farmers and businesses. Farmers will be supported to switch from conventional to organic farming. In addition, beneficiaries will be helped in establishing links with market players through attending exhibitions/fairs and workshops.
Under Output 2, authorities’ capacity development needs will be identified and trainings will be held; stakeholders will be brought together for the analysis of the development potential of Tianeti municipality and to contribute to the implementation of some of the priority interventions.
Both target areas experience high levels of rural poverty and unemployment. Women and young people are affected disproportionately. The two sectors with the most significant employment opportunities in the area are agriculture and tourism. However, local households find it difficult to make their living. Small size and fragmentation of land, restricted access to irrigation, inputs and services, lack of agricultural equipment, low quality of seeds and fertilizers as well as limited knowledge lead to low productivity of agriculture and thus low income. Notwithstanding its potential, the scarcity and low standards of services as well as the limited knowledge of entrepreneurs significantly slow down development of the tourism sector and limit the region’s attractiveness. By generating economic opportunities in these two sectors, the project aims to reduce poverty through sustainable local economic development in the region.