Made in Georgia: with EU & FAO Support Local Farmer’s Sweetcorn Goes on Sale at Carrefour

Kakheti sweetcorn on sale in the Majid Al Futtaim Carrefour is the first success of the large scale EU-FAO project aiming at increasing Georgian farmer productivity and income through modern methods and connecting producers with retailers.

Mid-October, Carl Hartzell, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia, and Raimund Jehle, FAO Representative, met with FAO-ENPARD project beneficiaries on their first day of supplying Majid Al Futtaim Carrefour Georgia with their yield.

David and Valentina Kapanadze are smallholder farmers from Lagodekhi municipality who received assistance from FAO agronomists and experts under the EU-funded ENPARD program to establish a sweetcorn demo plot utilizing modern European standards and practices. The project then helped David and Valentina establish links with large scale retailer Carrefour, which will regularly purchase the premium quality sweet corn from the Kapanadze family.

“I would like to congratulate the Kapanadze family for this truly impressive result and also recognize Carrefour's initiative to support and promote local productions,” Ambassador Hartzell said. “This first example of successful contract farming paves the way to larger collaborations between smallholder farmers and retailers to promote ‘Made in Georgia’ premium products to the end-consumers. It also shows that there are viable economic opportunities for smallholder farmers in Georgia around high-quality products, innovation, and sustainable agriculture. The EU remains committed to such endeavours in order to further support quality and inclusive agricultural growth in the country.”

“The FAO, together with the EU, carries out important activities for agricultural and rural development in Georgia and it’s impressive to see such achievements within this project,” Jehle said. “By supporting the government in delivering quality advising services to the farmers and assisting them to connect with the retailers, we can reach our bigger goals: to improve people’s lives and enhance the competitiveness of the agriculture sector in Georgia.”

“We are delighted with the contribution of Majid Al Futtaim Carrefour in the success of this project,” Christophe Orcet, Carrefour Georgia Country Manager, said. “Supporting local farmers in promoting high quality ‘Made in Georgia’ products has always been one of the priorities of the company. Along with our main focus to provide our customers with fresh products directly from the farm, we are glad to be a part of a successful collaboration which not only helps the agricultural development of the country but creates more job opportunities for Georgian citizens.”

“I would have never imagined that one day I could sell my yield in Carrefour. I am so happy that people are buying my sweet corn,” David Kapanadze said. “I am also grateful to the EU and FAO for this opportunity.”

This is the first example of successful contract farming aimed at gaining higher income for the smallholder and promoting products produced in Georgia, and should lead to more collaborations between smallholder farmers and retailers in Georgia under the EU-supported FAO-ENPARD project. Ultimately, it should pave the way to larger collaborations between smallholder farmers and retailers to promote ‘Made in Georgia’ premium products to the end-consumers.

The project, which supports the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia (MEPA) in the implementation of the National Strategy for Agricultural Extension 2018-2019, will deliver agricultural extension services, including consulting and supporting farmers with demo plot arrangements. It organizes farmer field schools, theoretical and practical training activities for lead farmers, Farmers’ Information-Consulting Centers of the Ministry and interns from the Agrarian University. Within the project, FAO experts arrange various types of demonstration plots of potatoes, wheat, maize, cucumber, eggplant and sweetcorn, focusing on the municipalities of Dedoplistskaro, Akhalkalaki, Khazbegi and Lagodekhi.

The European Neighborhood Program for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) is recognized as one of the most successful agriculture and rural development initiatives funded by the European Union in Georgia. Implemented since 2013 with a total budget of EUR 179.5 million, the main goal of ENPARD is to reduce rural poverty in the country.

04 November 2019 17:18