Have you ever had a problem buying healthy products or being lazy to go shopping in the open-air bazaar? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to order natural and fresh food that gets delivered straight to your door that is not of the fast-food, take-away variety? There might just be the reason for optimism with the story of soplidan.ge (“from the village”).
Facilitating cooperation among Georgia’s smallholders is in the focus of EU’s 52 mln Euro ENPARD project, of which ISET is a (small) part. An evaluation effort, coordinated by the ISET Policy Institute, has uncovered some interesting facts and figures.
We first met Gogi Elanidze in winter 2015, when interviewing farmers in Rati’s village, Kvemo Alvani. Located in Akhmeta municipality, Kvemo Alvani and its twin, Zemo Alvani, are not your usual Kakhetian villages. The two serve as the winter base for the people of Tusheti, an isolated valley separated from Kakheti by the 3000m high Abano mountain pass.
Ancient Greeks’ fascination with Georgia was not limited to the Golden Fleece. Legend has it that ‘Georgia’ comes from the Greek γεωργός (Georgios), reflecting the advanced land plowing practices of Georgian tribes, which distinguished them from their nomadic and yet unsettled neighbors. The Georgians (Colchians and Iberians, to be more precise) must have really made a formidable impression on the Argonauts to deserve such recognition.
When Saint Nino, one of Georgia’s most venerated saints, traveled to Mtskheta back in the fourth century, she stopped to erect a grapevine cross in Foka, a small settlement on the shores of Lake Paravani some 2000 meters above sea level. Saint Nino must have traveled during the summer since, even today, Foka is very difficult to reach for about 6 months of the year. Heaps of snow block all major access roads during the long and cold winter.