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Georgia Spotlight Story: The livestock of small scale farmers survive the Georgian winter

Georgia Spotlight Story: The livestock of small scale farmers survive the Georgian winter

Jul 2009

Tbilisi, Georgia

Not far away from the South Ossetian border on a verdant hillside lies the village of Shavshvebi (42°1'18"N 44°13'40"E) surrounded by hundreds of acres of fertile land. The farmers in the village suffered enormously during the armed conflict between Georgia and Russia in August 2008 were working hard during the winter. Aerial bombing and ground fighting affected thousands of hectares of agricultural and pasture land. As a result farmers’ livelihoods were devastated, along with their hopes and aspirations. The conflict was over in a matter of days, but it left an extraordinary amount of work to get the farmers back on their feet.

Jumberi Tskrialashvili, a 70 year old farmer, who provides for a family of six including his grand-children, owns one hectare of land and two cows in Shavshvebi. Twenty percent of the wheat produced from his land is used as animal feed. He lost four tons of wheat and a considerable amount of vegetables last year and the health of his two cows deteriorated as they were unable to move around freely due to the conflict. The FAO project Emergency supply of animal feed to conflict affected small-scale farming households and support to the Agriculture Sector and Food Security Cluster coordination in Georgia funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), specifically aims to help famers like Jumberi.