BP assists local farmers
Arranged demo farms, increased yield and solved problem of cattle feeding with the assistance of BP in Samtskhe-Javakheti villages
Within the framework of Community Development Initiative (CDI) program initiated and funded by BP and its partners in Samtskhe-Javakheti and Kvemo Kartli region, a number of projects have been implemented since 2003. Regional Development Association (RDA) represents an implementing entity of CDI in Samtskhe-Javakheti (Western route of the pipeline) since 2012.
The program covers the villages located along the Western route of the pipeline and aims to improve livelihood of the population in 33 villages of Borjomi, Akhaltsikhe and Adigeni municipalities through financing participatory socio-economic projects.
Solved problem of cattle feeding in the village Ivlita
The village Ivlita, Akhaltsikhe municipality, is one of the places where on-farm demonstration plots have been arranged.
The 52 families live in the village, which earns living mainly through cattle breeding. According to locals, arable land and pastures are not enough for their needs. That’s why it’s difficult for them to feed the cattle. BP has already partially solved this problem.
The agricultural specialists of Regional Development Association arranged demo plot for George Gikoshvili, the resident of the village Ivlita, where they seed German, combined grass for hay production. BP co-financed 50% of arrangement of the demo plot - the rest of the costs were covered by the demo farmer. Received harvest is entirely owned by farmer.
“There are small lands for pasture in the village Ivlita and almost no space for cultivation of forage crops. To bring one pack of the hay, you have to go through 20-25kms. That’s why it was decided to improve lands for pasture for Ivlita population”, - says agro consultant of Regional Development Association Mkrtich Movsesyan.
George Gikoshvili will no more have to go through 20-25kms. He received 4.5tones of hay from his demo plot. According to George if there will be rainy weather he may mow the grass one more time.
“I am very glad to receive 200 packs of hay this year. The quality of the hay is perfect. For example, on our plot, productivity of local grass is 10-12tones on 1000sq/meters while on the same area new variety gives 20-22tones”,- says Geoge Gikoshvili, and adds that his villagers are already interested and decided to produce hay using the same technology.
Before arrangement of demo plots, agro consultants met population and studied their needs.
“We met the farmers who wished to receive the abovementioned assistance from BP and visited their plots. The primary goal of the project is to bring benefit to the population, also many people get interested in the same technologies and what’s most important, to increase the income of local farmers”, - says Mkrtich Movsesyan.
Cultivated orchards with the assistance of BP
With the support of BP and Regional Development Association demo plots have been arranged in some more villages. For example, two demo plots of apple were arranged in the villages Skhvilisi and Zemo Skhvilisi. On each plot of 0.7ha, 100 roots of 4 varieties of early and late apples are planted.
According to locals, fruit growing is mostly developed in Skhvilisi. Huge part of the population is still planting old varieties of apples and sales of crops is a bit difficult.
“I had money but I had no idea how to buy new sorts of apple and which planting technology to use. With the support of this program, experienced agronomists trained me how to do everything. We planted seedlings last year and received harvest already this year. Exactly this is the advantage of the new varieties. Next year, several farmers plan to arrange same type of orchards”, - says farmer Serof Kanayan.
As Mkrtich Movsesyan (RDA Agronomist) says, demo farmers will sell new varieties of apple on every season: “early and late sorts have been planted together so farmers will receive crop every season and will gain relevant income”.
Margarit Torosyan, a resident of the village Abatkhevi, received 13.5 tons of Italian and Canadian wheat varieties from wheat demo plot arranged on 2ha and 0.2 ha plots.
“Cereal crops is a great problem in the village Abatkhevi, it has been 20 years since locals seed wild ray. When we heard about this project our wish was to bring new varieties of wheat. Nowadays people come from other villages and buy wheat”, - says Margarit Torosyan.