EU beneficiary in Tetritskaro Responds to COVID-19 Challenges with the Development of Innovative Agricultural Services
Giorgi Avchaleli, 32, is from the village of Marabda of the Tetritskaro Municipality. Over the years, he and his father have successfully run a local agriculture machineries store. While selling such kind of goods, Giorgi noticed that there was a great demand for agriculture machineries services, too, however, there was not a local provider with high-quality and modern equipment in the municipality. This is where the idea came from – to start a business that would offer modern agri-services to the local farmers.
Giorgi believed that to achieve his goal, it was necessary to get acquainted with the practices of Western countries – so he traveled to Europe several times and was introduced to the modern approaches in the field of agriculture. During his trip to Germany, he met his future wife with whom he returned to his village in Georgia and soon got financial support in the framework of the EU-funded ENPARD Tetritskaro grant competition.
With the EU grant in the amount of 30,370 GEL, Giorgi’s project was provided with agriculture equipment, which offers unprecedented services at an optimal price. “Agro House” is the name of the center, which is currently headed by Giorgi and his wife together:
“As usual, locals choose us because we have new equipment and offer high-quality services – let’s take corn sowing for example. The quality of such service is reflected in the fact that during the sowing process, our equipment does not leave a place between crops, as well as due to the small size of the equipment, we cultivate almost every part of the land. That is why one prefers to pay more and get the highest-quality services”.
According to Giorgi, the awareness of the “Agro House” has significantly increased during the last year. For comparison, he shows his own statistical analysis, according to which he made a total of 15 orders in April 2019, while this year he cultivated 65 plots of land in the same period. Moreover, 35% of his customers have cultivated the land for the first time.
In the framework of the Governmental regulations restricting the activities of various fields during the spread of the novel Coronavirus, agro-works were not included, therefore, Giorgi continued his works as usual, applying innovative approach in his practice – his main task was to follow the safety standards and in parallel to provide the customers with the services without interruption:
“Receiving the order, its implementation and monitoring looks like this: the customer electronically sends me the cadastral code of the land he wants to cultivate, after which I take the responsibility for the highest quality of the required works. Before cultivation of the land, as well as during the process and after the completion of the works, the customer is sent a photo-video material so that he can monitor the process himself. Finally, he can pay by bank transfer or by VISA/Master Card. Most importantly, each tractor has a constantly updated supply of disinfectants, face masks, and disposable gloves”.
It is noteworthy that in the current situation Giorgi enables his customers to pay for the mentioned services by installments, too. In addition, he tries to help his co-villagers as much as possible – so far Agro House has cultivated 3 family plots fully free of charge.
In the framework of the EU-funded ENPARD Programme, Tetritskaro Local Action Group (LAG) General Assembly considered Giorgi’s project especially important to achieve one of the project main priorities – support the competitiveness and modernization of agricultural and non-agricultural initiatives. Thus, Giorgi Avchaleli got funding of 30,370 GEL to develop his local agricultural service named “Agro House”.
Within the framework of ENPARD Tetritskaro project, Giorgi Avchaleli was handed 2 tractors and one was procured by him as a contribution to his business idea – all the mentioned tractors have different volumes. Furthermore, his business was equipped with 2 arable plows, 2 vertical rototillers, cultivators, 2 lawn-mowers, hay collector, field treatment apparatus, fruit treatment apparatus, fertilizer, importer sowing machine, corn and bean sowing machine, potato Sowing, potato extractor, and land sowing machine – all procured and handed within the project.
Tetritskaro Local Action Group (LAG) was established with the support of the EU-funded ENPARD project “Rural Development for Sustainable Growth in the Tetritskaro Municipality” implemented by Association Rural Development for Future Georgia (RDFG). It is one of the twelve LAGs established with the EU support in different municipalities across the country. The LAG serves as a multisectoral cooperation platform and brings together civil society, private and public sectors to promote the local development process in the municipality. The Tetritskaro LAG, with a membership of 89 Tetritskaro residents, represents 20 local communities, including national and religious minorities, as well as IDPs and eco-migrants residing in the Tetritskaro municipality.
In 2018, the Tetritskaro LAG developed the local development strategy for 2018-2022 and defined the priority areas for increasing the quality of life in the municipality, which are: 1. environmental protection, natural resource management, and disaster risk reduction. 2. Support the competitiveness and modernization of agricultural and non-agricultural initiatives. 3. Promoting rural tourism development. 4. Development/rehabilitation of rural infrastructure. Within the framework of the grant component of the project, 65 rural development initiatives have been supported so far, with a total cost of more than 5 mln Gel, targeting 48,562 direct and indirect beneficiaries.
Nina Kopaleishvili – Communications Officer, RDFG; firstname.lastname@example.org