On March 7-8, ISET’s ENPARD team with an M&E coordinator from CARE, took a field trip to Adjara, hosted by UNDP Adjara, which is one of the implementer of the ENPARD project (agricultural cooperative development across Georgia). UNDP Adjara recently became involved in the Annual Cooperative Survey, which has been carried out from the beginning of the implementation of the ENPARD project by other ENPARD implementer consortia (Care, Oxfam, Mercy Corps and PIN). The objective of the visit was to explain the details of the questionnaire for the survey to the local team.

During these two days, ISET and local team members met representatives from cooperatives in the region. The sectors covered by these cooperatives are trout, berries, wine production, as well as vegetable production in greenhouses.

On February 17, interested ISET faculty, staff and students visited the Ministry of Defence's research and development centre, Delta, at the invitation of Ilia Zhorzholiani, an ISET alumnus working as the facility's Chief Auditor. The visitors were shown many of Delta's products (which were of particular interest to ISET personnel with prior military experience), including sniper systems, mortars, weapon optics and light armoured vehicles. While most of Delta's foreign export deals remain classified, Delta staff were able to reveal the recent signing of a recent agreement with Saudi Arabia worth 40 million USD for an unspecified number of its 'Didgori' armoured vehicles.

A working meeting of the Georgian Agriculture Alliance for Rural Development (GAARD) was held on January 31 2017 by Oxfam and BRIDGE - Innovation and Development, a local NGO.

There are five different working groups in GAARD: (i) Food Security, (ii) Access to Services, (iii) Access to Finance, (iv) Cooperation and Smallholder Farmers, and (v) the Environment, Diversity and Land Usage group.

APRC researcher Ia Katsia participated in a GAARD meeting in which Alliance members presented developed advocacy plans on different topics developed by the working groups’ of the GAARD. During the meeting, advocacy priorities were highlighted for each working group, and the participants discussed future activities and important topics related to agriculture.

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