ZRDA Activity in GEORGIA
Donor – United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Implementer – Chemonics International Inc.
Partners – Regional Development Association (RDA); Georgian Farmers Association (GFA); Rural Development for Future Georgia (RDFG); Charity Humanitarian Centre “Abkhazeti” (CHCA)
Duration of the Project – May 2016 – December 2020
Main Activity – Tourism and Agriculture Development
Geographic Focus – The project works in 81 communities of 6 regions of Georgia – Shida Kartli, Kvemo Kartli, Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Mtskheta Mtianeti and Kakheti (Pankisi) – including villages with administrative border and ethnic minorities.
Target Group – Local Farmers, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
Mission - The USAID Zrda Activity in Georgia is designed to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth in target regions by improving MSME growth, increasing productivity of rural households, facilitating market linkages between producers and buyers and promote local economic development by establishing and strengthening networks.
Zrda’s holistic approach to tourism seeks to support regional tourism development through new tourism product development, promoting new tourism destinations and attractions, and raising international quality standards within players in the tourism sector. The primary regions for Zrda’s tourism sector activities are Samtkhe-Javakheti, Samegrelo, Pankisi Valley and Tusheti though capacity building of rural guesthouses is a focus across all target regions. In particular, Zrda has partnered with the Georgian National Tourism Agency (GNTA) and regional public and private sector stakeholders to promote a regional development model in Samtskhe-Javakheti and Samegrelo. The model focuses on agro, adventure, and cultural tourism, and seeks to improve stakeholder coordination and cooperation to better position and market these regions as Georgia’s premier tourism destinations.
Zrda’s approach to agriculture seeks to support rural households to increase their productivity and incomes from agricultural activities in three priority sectors: vegetables, fruits (berries and orchard fruits), and bee products. Activities focusing on human capital capacity development, promoting access to new and improved production technologies, on-farm training and technical assistance, facilitating market linkages, and improving access to finance help farmers increase yields, improve efficiency, and raise incomes. Zrda furthermore supports capacity building of public and private sector agriculture extension providers and vocational training for market-demanded trade skills that will help rural households diversify their income opportunities and help them become more marketable for employment. Finally, Zrda is working together with farmer organizations, individual and cooperative producers, and wholesale and retail buyers to help improve standards and promote relevant certifications to improve the competitiveness of regional agricultural products on both domestic and international markets.