One of the main goals of the European Neighborhood Program for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) is assisting farmers in promoting their products and establishing a strong network within the Georgian business field.
A number of recent successes has proven the program’s effective execution of these goals. One such success is an agreement with Georgian online platform Kar.ge (www.kar.ge) on increasing awareness of products produced by Georgian farmers. The partnership will also focus on improving Georgian farmers’ relationships with businesses, supermarket chains, hotels and restaurants to raise awareness and increase the sales of Georgian products, contributing to the sustainable development of the Georgian economy.
The cooperation was inspired by the recent promotion of two products through the online platform, which achieved very positive results. The first was the fresh mountain trout produced by the farmers’ cooperative Samegobro 2014 in the Chokhatauri region, while the second was the Georgian cheese produced by Lelo 2014 in the Khoni region. Under the agreement with Kar.ge, the online platform will promote agricultural products from Georgian cooperatives every Tuesday and Friday.
The online platform was established in 2014 and receives 210,000 unique monthly visitors. Its customer base has shown interest in Georgian products and it has already fostered strong relations with supermarket chains across the country. Its appeal, however, is not limited only to Georgia, as the platform has also developed extensive relations with foreign investors who are interested in Georgian agricultural products. “We have a request from the Netherlands to export Georgian dry fruit and we are in negotiations with local farmers to help facilitate the trade,” says Mr. Tariel Zivzivadze, managing director of Kar.ge.
Another recent success of ENPARD involved facilitating meetings between Georgian mobile operator Geocell and farmers from the Imereti region. High quality dry fruits covered in chocolate going by the name of Chirkoladi are produced there and Geocell supported farmers in branding the product more effectively. Geocell also purchased batches of Chirkoladi to present as gifts to their valued customers.
This fostering of improved dialogue between farmers and key stakeholders has also resulted in a further fruitful cooperation – the Georgian Ministry of Agriculture has agreed to organize agricultural product fairs featuring Georgian farmers. As such, businesses from across Georgia will be invited to network and establish strong links with Georgian farmers’ cooperatives.