Visit to Zrda-Supported Sites in Shida Kartli
USAID/Georgia Mission Director Peter Wiebler joined Ambassador of Israel to Georgia Ran Gidor and Governor of Shida Kartli Mamuka Saghareishvili, to hand over drip irrigation kits to 59 households of Gamdlistskaro village located along the Administrative Boundary Line with the occupied territory of South Ossetia.
USAID/Zrda and Israeli Embassy/MASHAV-led initiative that would enable farmers boost yields, improve quality, and generate increased income from the sale of their products. Having preliminarily identified the local farmers’ needs in optimizing their harvest and income per square meter, USAID/Zrda and MASHAV (Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation) have worked together to equip the ABL farmers with drip irrigation kits for installation in their small land plots.
During the visit, guests also visited the Gori Historical-Ethnographic Museum which, through the support from USAID/Zrda, revitalized its unique Numismatic Collection, as well as modernized its education center. The Gori Ethnographic Museum is just one of the 13 museums across Georgia that thanks to the USAID/Zrda can offer renovated environment to their visitors.
Georgia on ITB Berlin Trade Show
On March 9-12, ITB Travel and Trade Show hosted a 4-day fair in digital format for the first time after the global disease outbreak. As the leading Travel Show, ITB launched the foremost business platform for global touristic offer, which gathered 1000 qualified Top buyers and 10K Exhibitors from over 180 countries.
The event incorporated number of sessions reflecting tourism market analysis, recovery strategy and vision for future of the industry, provided networking opportunities and served as the hub to establish new and maintain existing business relations.
USAID/Zrda worked hand in hand with Georgian Tourism Administration (GNTA) to facilitate the promotion of Georgia as a secure and compelling travel destination for 2021.
With this in mind, Zrda provided seven Tour Operators with access to ITB digital platform to attend information sessions and mainstream their activities in line with current trends, hold meetings and establish partnership with potential buyers on global scale.
Georgian and Armenian DMO Online Webinar
On March 11, USAID/Zrda hosted Georgian and Armenian Destination Management Organization (DMO) Webinar. The main goal of the webinar was to share the experience gained through the years from Zrda-supported Georgia’s DMOs (Samtskhe-Javakheti and Samegrelo) in order to obtain maximum engagement for future cooperation and collaborative efforts, i.e. challenges, sustainability, funding models, marketing channels etc!The initiative will serve as model of synergy and cooperation between the Transcaucasian countries and provide ground for partnership opportunities aimed at promoting regional tourism development model across the countries!
Tabla Culinary Cookbooks already available in Biblusi
USAID/Zrda is pleased to inform you that culinary cookbooks “Meskhuri Tabla”, “Kisturi Tabla” and “Tushui Tabla” are available at “Biblusi” bookshops, 25 branches, all over Georgia. As for “Kolkhuri Tabla” it will become available soon!
For online purchase, please follow the links:
Christmas Fair of Zrda supported Georgian Artisans
December 24-31, Georgian Crafts Association through the support of USAID Zrda Activity in Georgia organizes Christmas Fair for handmade accessories of Georgian artisans at the Shopping Center Merani.
The Christmas Fair will feature amazing Georgian traditional crafts quality production collected from different regions. In addition to the conventional sales, purchase of the unique Georgian accessories is also available on the official Facebook Page of Ethnodesign shop.
The event aims to support artisans and workshops from different regions of Georgia, promote sales in the challenging times of COVID-19 pandemic and enhance employment and economic development in regions!
#SupportLocal Social Media Campaign
#SupportLocal – USAID/Zrda Project launches a social media campaign to give a hand to small and medium businesses across Georgia’s regions during these challenging times!
With this campaign, we will give you a chance to meet and support entrepreneurs, producers, craft makers, tour-operators and hospitality business that offer you their products and innovative services.
Think locally and shop locally to support employment, bring more revenue to your community and contribute to the economy of our country.
New Opportunities for Mobile Application Agronavti
Innovation is key to the success of online technologies, and last week marked yet another success of Agronavti Application - first Agrobusiness Digital created by Georgian Farmers’ Association (GFA) through support from USAID Zrda. This super popular mobile match-making platform received a 100,000 GEL award from Georgia’s Innovation and Technology Agency to facilitate AI integration into the application to ensure all operating modules become accessible for both local and international markets.
Of note, this customer-focused initiative received incremental investments to help agribusinesses increase their income by 30 percent provided they leverage a well thought out business 2 plan executed by a skilled management team.
In 2017, USAID Zrda and Georgian Farmers’ Association, in partnership with the Georgian Farmers' Distribution Company (GFDC) and the Adjara Hospitality Group, established a mobile match-making platform "Agronavti” to support farmers in selling their products. It is easy and flexible electronic system, which creates opportunities for accessing new market. By downloading the application, a farmer is able to get information on weekly market prices established for agro products, research and innovations in agriculture, local weather forecast, land auctions announced by the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development production of over 60 crops, trade fairs and exhibitions etc. This mobile application charges commission to up to 5,500 of its users on all sales transactions to cover the platform's operations and maintenance costs and ensure its sustainability. GFDC currently collects and distributes a wide variety of Georgian agricultural products to Adjara Hospitality Group hotels and restaurants, including a significant amount of goods produced in the Zrda-target communities. To-date, the value of total sales generated by the company and its farmers living in the Zrda-target areas reached $4.4 million.
First Ever Online Crafts Workshops Festival in Georgia
On 10-17 October, Georgian Craft Association with support from USAID Zrda hosted the Online Festival of Crafts Workshops aimed at documenting traditional knowledge of craftsmanship in Georgia to promote the sector and increase the visibility of best Georgian artisans among audiences worldwide.
In response to COVID 19 pandemic crisis, the decision was made to change the format of the annual crafts festival and move it online. Zrda helped the Association to quickly adapt to the changed business reality, and to this end, supported the development of 14 video stories of the artisans from the Zrda target regions. Overall, the event gathered well-known artisans from five different regions of Georgia, to highlight their workshops, master classes (including ceramics, woodcarving, stone carving, natural dies, carpet/rug weaving, felt making, jewelry, musical instrument making) as well as offered amazing stories, online meetings and webinars.
Part of the festival content was shared through the Create Day 2020 platform as part of the London Craft Week - a new interactive platform showcasing twenty-four hours of non-stop human ingenuity, imagination, diversity and skills from around the globe. The following 4 off 14 videos highlighting Georgian craftsmanship were selected for broadcasting through the international craft platform – Traditional Georgian Musical Instrument Making, Bell-founding, Knifemaking, Ceramic Making.
Zrda promotes new tourism products across Georgia
To accelerate the process of recovery and restoration of consumer confidence in a post pandemic era, as well as help Georgian tour operators identify and develop products that are particularly appealing to different segments of domestic and international markets, USAID Zrda supported a Familiarization (FAM) trip around Samtskhe-Javakheti region. During the trip, representatives from 13 companies visited largely unknown tourist sites and experienced new services unique from the traditional/popular touristic sites in the region. Initiatives like this aim to mitigate the socio-economic impact of the crisis and assist travel value chain players to shape the sector in line with new reality and stay competitive in the market by offering unique and interesting services/destinations.
In line with its effort to facilitate and strengthen the linkages between Samtskhe-Javakheti Destination Management Organization (DMO) and business sector, Zrda organized a meeting of the leading Georgian tour operators with the Samtskhe-Javakheti DMO. In the meeting, participants brainstormed to identify priorities, how to address major challenges, and find opportunities for further cooperation.
Zrda supported Info Tour in Tusheti for Tourist Companies
September 7-10. Zrda organized an info tour for tourist companies in Kvemo Kartli and Tusheti. The info tour covered more than 10 touristic destinations, including several Zrda beneficiaries. More than 10 tourist agencies participated in the tour that undertook gastronomy master-classes.
The info tour aimed at promoting new destinations and tourist services that meet various demands across the globe. The next tour is planned to be held in Samtskhe Javakheti in the nearest future.
Zrda supported cheese, honey and tea Festival
September 6 Mtatsminda Park hosted cheese, honey and tea festival supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection of Georgia, USAID/Zrda and Czech Embassy.The event gathered numerous cheese honey and tea makers and producers, where the visitors had chance to taste and buy ecological products.
US Ambassador Kelly Degnan visits Gotsa Wine
Her Excellency, US Ambassador Kelly Degnan visited Gotsa Winery within the Agro Stop project.Her Excellency surveyed the wine, beer and cheese production of Gotsa Family Winery. The visit was recorded by Agro Stop project, initiated by USAID/Zrda and Georgian Farmers' Association. aimed at promoting domestic and agro tourism in Georgia.
USAID/Georgia Mission Director visiting Babaneuri Marani
August 26, Babaneuri Marani hosted special guests. USAID/Georgia mission director Peter Wiebler, Deputy Minister of Environmental protection and Agriculture of Georgia Khatia Tsilosani visited USAID/Zrda beneficiary Babaneuri Marani to survey all the facilities fulfilled with the support of USAID/Zrda.The guests were greeted by the owners Vakho Idoidze and Nino Ninua in a very friendly and hospitable atmosphere. The guests had an opportunity to participate in a culinary master-class of the authentic Tushetian dishes provided according to the Tushuri Tabla cook book to be published by USAID/Zrda.Thanks to its high quality service, Babaneuri has received a special award from booking.com as one of the best destinations in Georgia.
U.S. Ambassador Visited the Kindergarten in Kveshi
U.S. Ambassador Kelly C. Degnan visited the kindergarten in Kveshi village located near the Administrative Boundary Line. This is one more USAID/Zrda-supported and OSCE-funded infrastructure initiative implemented in Shida Kartli region.
Within the framework of the joint initiative USAID/Zrda developed the full project design package for Kveshi Kindergarten, while the Kindergartens Agency under the Gori Municipality implemented the full scope of infrastructure rehabilitation works. Newly rehabilitated and well-equipped building is already in a full operational regime and 75 local children can attend the Kindergarten from now on.
This is one more example of how U.S. Government and USAID assistance makes a tangible impact in Georgia’s vulnerable communities.
Zrda and GNTA to support domestic tourism in Georgia
USAID/Zrda and Georgian National Tourism Administration (GNTA) are implementing a joint information campaign as a response to the situation caused due to COVID-19 pandemic!
The joint initiative includes volunteers’ involvement in the information campaign to deliver updated regulations to the HORECA business representatives operating in the project target regions and municipalities.
In the frames of the activity, on July 9 the selected volunteers launched the door-to-door information campaign in USAID/Zrda target regions and municipalities across the country.
Zrda facilitates investments in target communities
USAID/Zrda, JSC Partnership Fund and its affiliated Start-up Georgia cooperate and facilitate investments in the target communities located along the Administrative Boundary Lines (ABLs) with the occupied territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia!
US Ambassador to Georgia Kelly C. Degnan, Partnership Fund CEO David Saganelidze and Startup Georgia Director Giorgi Lomidze joined Shida Kartli Governor Giorgi Khojevanishvili during USAID/Zrda, JSC Partnership Fund and its affiliated Start-up Georgia-supported natural, nonalcoholic drink “Kombucha” mini-enterprise groundbreaking!
USAID/Zrda and JSC Partnership Fund joint initiative aims to support start-uppers to develop new enterprises in the ABL villages located near Russian occupied Abkhazia and South Ossetia territory.
Zrda continues to support domestic tourism in Shida Kartli
USAID/Zrda supported the launch of Georgia Rediscovered campaign in Shida Kartli, historic heartland of Georgia hosted by Georgian Tourism Industry Alliance. The campaign included presentation of Shida Kartli Crafts Workshop Guidebook sponsored by USAID Zrda and Wheel-throwing masterclass at the Giorgi Tatulashvili Museum-workshop.
As a response to COVID-19 impact on tourism sector, USAID/Zrda and Georgian Tourism Industry Aliance aim to promote domestic tourism by encouraging local visitors to rediscover the gems of their own country – Georgian culture, gastronomy and crafts. The tour is supported by the US Embassy to Georgia and USAID Zrda Activity under Enhance Artisans/Crafts Makers’ Business Skills in Shida Kartli implemented by the Georgian Heritage Crafts Association.
All aspects of the tour - transportation, gastronomic master classes and outdoor activities - are arranged in accordance with the existing COVID-19 safety protocol.
Shida Kartli Governer hosted Zrda representatives
Shida Kartli Governer Giorgi Khijevanishvili hosted USAID/Zrda representatives and showed them the educational and new tourist places located in Gori Municipality! The guests visited following places: ancient ruins discovered near Gori Fortress; newly rehabilitated Tsereteli Street in Gori; Lomchabuki Square; Galaktioni Valley; Tatulashvili Ceramic Studio-Museum; as well as attended art classes in the ABL villages Tirdznisi and Ergneti.
Roses for Doctors
These are the beautiful roses from the USAID/Zrda-supported greenhouse in Samegrelo. Zrda supports economic growth in rural communities. This greenhouse, like many businesses, is facing temporary challenges due to COVID-19.
We delivered these roses to hospitals in Zugdidi and Rukhi, where doctors and nurses are working around to clock to treat cases of COVID-19.
We thank all of Georgia's medical professionals who are working tirelessly to keep people healthy and safe during COVID-19. We're also helping Georgia prepare for life after the pandemic. Through the Zrda Activity and other programs, we're partnering with the private sector to help Georgia's economy recover from the crisis.
US Assistance Strengthens Georgia’s Response to COVID19
USAID/Georgia Mission Director Peter Wiebler joined Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Ioseb Chelidze and Head of Georgia’s Emergency Situations Management Service Temur Mghebrishvili to hand over field hospital tents provided to Georgia by the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The field hospital tents enhance the preparedness and response capabilities of the Emergency Management Service (EMS) of Georgia and support the safety of communities across Georgia during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Provision of the tents is part of a larger effort by the U.S. Government to support Georgia’s immediate COVID-19 response and help build its emergency preparedness capacity through upgraded equipment and enhanced training.
Zrda continues to support the beneficiaries during COVID-19
While the world is focused on the rapid response to COVID-19, USAID/Zrda continues to support the beneficiaries who need it the most! Even company Click Events shared a wonderful idea with Zrda and as a part of the social responsibility initiative purchased flawless yellow tulips from the project-supported Aleksi Mekantsishvili, living in the ABL Bredza village of Gori Municipality!
Georgia’s Tradition of Khachapuri
On February 27th, the USAID Zrda-supported Gastronomic Association announced two gastronomic highlights at the conference “Georgia’s Tradition of Khachapuri”:
- Georgia will celebrate National Khachapuri Day on February 27
- Khachapuri Festival’20 will be held in Rukhi village of Samegrelo on September 26th
Zrda Activity partners with the Gastronomic Association of Georgia to promote the development of the gastronomy tourism in Georgia.
Regional Tour Guides Short-term Training Program
USAID/Zrda in cooperation with the Center for Training and Consultancy (CTC) presents the “Regional Tour Guides Short-term Training Program” results! The event aims to promote course visibility among the relevant stakeholders to ensure its sustainability and institutionalization.
Since 2019, Center for Training and Consultancy (CTC), in cooperation with Zrda, has closely worked with different stakeholders (Zugdidi State Teaching University, Kachreti VET “Aisi”, Gori VET “Gantiadi”, and Akhaltsikhe VET “Opizari”) to develop and deliver certification training courses for tour guides.
The certificate handover of the first round of trainings provides an opportunity to create market linkage opportunities among course graduates and tour operators. Furthermore, this will be an opportunity for the VET colleges to present their course results and demonstrate areas for continued collaboration and next steps with The Ministry of Education (MOE) and Georgian National Tourism Association (GNTA).
BP and Zrda to Support Communities across Georgia
BP Georgia and USAID/Zrda to Support Communities across Georgia! USAID/Georgia Mission Director Peter Wiebler and BP Head of Country Ann Davies joined Shida Kartli Governor Giorgi Khojevanishvili to visit jointly-supported project sites in Nigoza village of the Kaspi Municipality.
Recently, USAID Zrda in partnership with BP Georgia has launched joint program in 41 villages where BP and Zrda activities overlap, including village Nigoza. Joint program will be implemented as part of the wider Community Development Initiative program, initiated and funded by BP and its oil and gas partners. Focus areas of the partnership are agriculture, business and community development.
Assistance for Historical-Architectural Museum-Reserves in Uplistsikhe and Vardzia
USAID/Zrda in cooperation with the National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia to support the customs service and security measures improvement in Historical-Architectural Museum-Reserves in Uplistsikhe and Vardzia, Shida Kartli and Samtskhe-Javakheti Regions!
In the framework of the cooperation in Uplistsikhe Historical-Architectural Museum-Reserve, Zrda-supported First Aid and CPR trainings were conducted for the museum staff, outfit/uniforms were handed over as well as the First Aid fully equipped facility was arranged.
From now on Uplistsikhe Museum-Reserves staff is ready to provide emergency immediate care when a person is injured until full medical treatment is available.