ISET

The agricultural cooperative movement started a few years ago in Georgia and the registered farmer groups are currently still at the embryonic stage of development. The Soviet legacy and rather negative attitude towards earlier forms of cooperation (Kolkoz and Sovkhoz) has gradually faded among farmers, and today more than 1,400 cooperatives are registered with the Agricultural Cooperative Development Agency under the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia.

It might be the case that most registered because of the favorable programs and projects directed at cooperatives coming from donor organizations and the Government of Georgia. The main program that supported cooperative development in Georgia, is the European Neighborhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD). Consortia of the following organizations implemented ENPARD’s cooperation development component: CARE, Oxfam, Mercy Corps, People in Need and UNDP Georgia. In a 4-year period of operation, the program directly supported more than 280 cooperatives by purchasing assets (mainly fixed assets) and providing intensive technical support via training sessions, bringing experts
to the field, building market linkages and providing day-to-day support in many other directions.

MOLI stands for “Market Opportunities for Livelihood Improvement” in Kakheti. The project started in autumn 2012 and initially focused on milk and meat producers in the eastern part of the Kakheti region. It now operates in all eight municipalities of the region. In the second phase of the project, MOLI aims to reduce poverty in the Kakheti region while facilitating improved access to milk, beef and pork markets, and easing farmers’ access to inputs and services. Furthermore, MOLI focuses on cultivating a business enabling environment with the conviction that sustainability can only be achieved when the conditions for doing business are conducive, foresighted, and agreed upon by all stakeholders.

As a freshwater resource-rich Caucasian country, Georgia is well-positioned to produce high quality trout in its mountains. However, the Georgian trout sector is struggling and faces a number of constraints to further development.

In this study, we conducted both desk and field research, including an analysis of official data from the National Statistics Office of Georgia and interviews with various stakeholders in the trout value chain. We also put forth a case study of the trout cooperative Samegobro 2014 in which we discuss in detail the challenges many trout farmers face on an everyday basis.

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