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FAO in Georgia

First Stakeholder Meeting of the National Animal Identification and Traceability System

16/06/2017

FAO held the first meeting to update stakeholders on the ongoing processes of the recently launched National Animal Identification and Traceability System (NAITS) in Georgia. The project implemented by FAO with the help of the National Food Agency (NFA) is funded and supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Austrian Development Agency.

In their opening remarks, Deputy Minister of Agriculture Mr. Nodar Kereselidze and FAO Assistant Representative in Georgia Mr. Mamuka Meskhi highlighted the importance of developing an effective animal identification and traceability system in the next four years in Georgia.

“There is an increasing interest in animal identification and recording systems worldwide and we are glad to be in line with EU requirements in this direction,” Meskhi said, “A fully functional traceability system in Georgia will bring big potential for improving animal health and simplify access to international markets, leading to higher income for farmers.”

In 2017, Georgia became the first country in the region to introduce a new, improved animal registration system. Within the framework of the updated programme, ear tagging of large and small ruminants will continue. At the same time, the electronic database where the farmers and veterinary doctors will be able to get information about an animal will be improved and refined. Farmers involved in the programme will benefit from the identification and traceability system. Owners will be able to include their animals in free vaccination programmes. Furthermore, they will be able to take their animals to slaughterhouses without any preconditions and enjoy unhindered milk deliveries to collection centers and dairy processing enterprises.

 “The identification and traceability system facilitates animal movement control and health control. It is a key principle of food safety, which implies state control, from the farm to the table,” said Mikheil Sokhadze, head of the animal identification and traceability team.

National Food Agency has been implementing animal identification and traceability since 2012 and has identified 2.5 million livestock to date. Registration process has been ongoing since 2015, and currently the electronic database holds 1.5 million registered animals.

Government, private sector and NGO representatives attended the meeting.