An EBRD project is helping to disseminate good farming techniques.
The collapse of the Soviet Union led to the disruption of the system of state-run agricultural collective farms in Georgia.
Today one of the main challenges Georgian entrepreneurs face in the farming sector is coping with the lack of modern agricultural know-how.
In response to this situation, in 2010, the EBRD provided support for the expansion of Margebeli, a Georgian agribusiness group, with a loan of US$ 12 million, and, importantly, with donor-funded technical assistance to the group’s Marneuli Agro - a farm producing cucumbers and tomatoes.
The focus of the technical cooperation was to introduce modern agricultural farming techniques, including soil irrigation and the environmentally sustainable use of liquid fertilisers, to improve land preparation for better crop results.
An international consultant spent a year on site training Marneuli Agro staff throughout all farming phases from seeding to harvesting.
The result? Harvested volumes that had almost doubled compared with the previous year, coupled with decreased costs of production.
Building on this success, the EBRD extended a second loan of US$ 7 million to Margebeli and launched a new technical cooperation project funded by the EBRD Early Transition Countries Fund will help Marneuli Agro improve its farm management techniques and increasing yields per hectare.
On completion of this hands-on training, Marneuli Agro farmers will acquire vital agricultural and farm management knowledge to independently and effectively manage production using modern agricultural practices.
Moreover, the guidelines prepared during the assignment will allow for the dissemination of agricultural knowledge to other farmers in the region.