Arali Village Factsheet, 2012
Arali village is located in Adigeni district of Samtskhe-Javakheti on the banks of river Kvabliani at 1120m altitude and is the second largest settlement within the CDI4 coverage zone - accommodating 2180 residents (2010).
Arali is traditionally known for its fruit orchards laid out along the river Kvabliani as well as potato production and these are the source of income for majority of local residents. Settled territory is rather densely populated compared to most of the Community Development Initiative West (CDI) villages and local farmers cultivate agri-products at plots of arable land located on the outskirts of the village.
Regardless of being next only to Vale by number of residents (out of CDIW 27), Arali has one of the lowest rankings by the number of family members in a household (2.6). The figure also indicates older average age of local population, but despite the latter, combination of the above factors do precondition potential for development of urban services as well as for agri-production.
Such environment fosters truly diversified demand for CDI4 assistance and the village is already benefiting from most of the program’s components (Infrastructure Rehabilitation, On-Farm Demonstration, Start-up Business, Farmers Association Samtskhe).
The prospects of potato production in this area are well represented by the quality and volume of harvest received by Arali seed producers group who are members of Farmers Association Samtskhe (founded within CDI3). Average productivity of 30-32 t/ha (compared to national average of 20-25 t/ha) was recorded here this year and share of seed potato in total yield of 0.2 ha reached 54%. CDI4 provided Samtskhe the opportunity to receive matching grant of USD 15,000 for purchase of agricultural machinery and seedlings with highest potential of multi-cycle reproduction. Economies of scale achieved with the above cooperative approach resulted in 37% savings last year which is planned to improve further in the next season.
With growing agricultural production, irrigation water remains to carry crucial importance for this village, which regardless of close proximity to the water resource and numerous infrastructure rehabilitations, continues to suffer from the technical water deficit.
Arinda variety of potato crops received from a single plant. Arali, 2012
Arali Community Based Organization (CBO) Tanastsoroba has carried out irrigation system rehabilitations to restore water supply for 360ha arable plots within CDI program since 2005. Having extensive experience in this field, Tanastsoroba responded to the first round of grant application solicitation for Infrastructure Rehabilitation component in CDI4 and secured a grant worth GEL 14,735 for rehabilitation of irrigation system.
Funds were matched by the CBO in amount of GEL 6,526 (31% of total cost) and given the vast experience of 2005-founded CBO, rehabilitation works were fully accomplished by October. The newly rehabilitated Konoschalebi headwork connected to the main irrigation system will allow for irrigation of 80ha territory.
Tanastsoroba memebers and RDA engineer conducting works on Konoschalebi irrigation system.
Mr. Gigo Peikrishvili of Arali has been one of the first farmers to respond to CDI’s new initiative to arrange on-farm demonstrations of apple orchards.
“Apple farming has been our main activity in the village since many decades, but profitability from this activity decreases year by year due to problems with distribution” - he claims.
“When there is a harvest, farmers always try to sell fruits for direct consumption first, in order to earn maximum price and only after failing to retail, they approach processing factories to offer the yield for pennies.
Even if there was an efficient distribution service, transportation cost to supply local apples to Kvemo or Shida Kartli processors will be uncompetitive compared to Gori and Marneuli products. For this reason I decided to try out more productive and expensive varieties of table apples like Jonath Gold, Granny Smith and Star Grimson” – says the demo farmer.
Gigo Peikrishvili, CDI4 demo farmer demonstrating newly planted apple sapling. Arali, 2012.
This apple demo was financed within CDI4 with GEL 736 and matched with GEL 435 to purchase saplings, inputs, etc.
With anticipated productivity, Mr. Peikrishvili plans to receive about 450kg of crops in 2014 and close to 9t. yield in 2015, which translates to minimum income of GEL 1,350 and GEL 27,000 respectively.
“In this business you invest long-term, but the results are also long-term and sustainable, so it pays to wait”, the farmer notes.
Granny Smith is the world's most popular apple variety which is exclusively retailed by the global food chains like McDonald's and Starbucks.
Sustainable businesses are the key to not only long-term profitability, but also long-term job creation. Arali, alike other villages in the region, suffers from high unemployment, followed by migration of youth to urban settlements to earn for living.
From this perspective, Dental Office start-up business established within CDI4 by a 25-year-old Tamar Kachkachashvili seems to be the best response to the challenge. According to Tamar, a recent graduate from a medical institution in Tbilisi, this business is the only reason keeping her in her hometown. “When I graduated in Tbilisi and accomplished my internships in various dental clinics, I knew I had to make a choice: stay in the Capital and continue work or get back to my hometown and think about starting a family. This is because there is no single clinic in Arali or nearby villages to continue my dental career”, explains Tamar. “Having heard of the start-up grants for new entrepreneurs encouraging young women, gave me a chance of a third choice”, she says with excitement.
The young entrepreneur has teamed up with her now-assistant - Leila Chilingarashvili and received a grant worth GEL 3,900 to buy modern dental equipment for small dental office. Matching funds totaling GEL 4,433 were spent for renovation of the facility, small dental equipment and materials.
“Before the CDI entrepreneurship trainings I didn’t quite acknowledge the concept of entrepreneurship in daily work, but after listening to so many success stories of people who started from zero like me, it gives me incentive to apply not only dental, but also business skills to practice”, says Tamar. Dental Office “Stomatologi” started receiving patients in October and renders at least 3-4 services a week.
Tamar Kachkachashvili receives one of her first patients in her new dental office. Arali, 2012.
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The Community Development Initiative (CDI) is initiated and funded by BP and its co-ventures in Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC), South Caucasian Pipeline (SCP) and Georgian Pipeline Companies