The new agricultural approaches and solutions introduced with FAO and EU support allow farmers to get better harvests.
Vepkhvia Tsagareishvili from Vartsikhe, Bagdati municipality, has been farming for nearly 25 years.
His 300 sq. m. greenhouses in Vartsikhe bear little resemblance to those of home gardeners. Vepkhvia found that modern agriculture had a lot to offer for successful off-season production of onions, herbs (fennel), cucumbers, tomatoes and other vegetables. The demonstration plot is one of the recent ones established by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and EU, under the ENPARD programme.
“I used to do farming completely differently before; now it is done differently. New technologies offer new opportunities,” Tsagareishvili says. “This demonstration plot has been established to bring innovation and develop knowledge.”
Georgia has always been a country on vegetable farming. The country’s agriculture and rural life underwent a tremendous transformation in the 20th century. Over a relatively short time period, innovations in farms’ production practices, more intensive use of fertilizers, and business arrangements have allowed Georgian farmers to increase output.
“There are the different approaches of applying fertilizers. FAO Agronomists teach us how to apply the fertilizer doses properly. The farmer thinks that the more fertilizer he uses, the more harvest he will get, but it is not so. Who needs toxic chemicals? Now this is a natural product, it does not have many impurities, it is naturally fertilized,” Tsagareishvili recalls.
He provides jobs to up to 20 locals.Farmer Vepkhvia Tsagareishvili plans to expand the production, leaving the traditional methods behind opting for modern agricultural solutions.
“The plot with the drip irrigation system installed not only gave a better harvest, but it also gave vegetables of great quality, which I will have no trouble selling for the premium price. I hope to achieve even better results,” the farmer says.
The EU is supporting agriculture and rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD programme. The main goal of ENPARD is to provide economic opportunities in rural areas and reduce poverty in Georgia. More information on ENPARD is available at: https://eu4georgia.eu/enpard/