FAO in Georgia

The EU and FAO promote conservation agriculture practices for better harvest and better environment


A two-day workshop focusing on Conservation Agriculture was organized under the ENPARD Programme by the EU and FAO. Farmers and producers from Gori and Kareli municipalities, who want to improve their production using environmental friendly and cost-saving agricultural practices, attended the event.

FAO international expert talked about the principles, practices and benefits of Conservation Agriculture methods which prevent land degradation and soil fertility deterioration. Minimal disturbance of soil, as opposed to traditional deep ploughing, significantly saves production costs and time.

``The calculations showed that farmers practicing Conservation Agriculture method - no-till - in wheat production can save up to 400-450 lari, including 30-40 liter of fuel/diesel and 80-120 kg of wheat seed per hectare. Moreover, through practicing Conservation Agriculture methods farmer can gradually reduce the application of pesticides, herbicides and mineral fertilizer,’’ said Hafiz Muminjanov, the FAO expert who conducted the workshop. 

Three years ago, FAO agronomists set up the first no-till demonstration plots in Kakheti and after the successful harvest and increased yields, farmers in Shida Kartli also decided to try and replicate the method. EU and FAO support the pioneer farmers through providing mechanization and expertise. As a result, last year over 250 and this year over 315 hectares of land have been planted using the no-till method. The farmers who switched to this new technique were able to reduce direct costs by 37%. Moreover, the method significantly reduced labour costs, protected soil from erosion, and kept the soil moisturized and rich with minerals, thus reducing the risk and impact from droughts, which have become more common in various Georgian regions due to climate change.

“No tillage of cereals introduced by FAO and EU under the ENPARD programme allow farmers to get better harvest and save money. We believe that no tillage can become a mainstreamed agricultural practice in Georgia, and we keep committed to support farmers with technical assistance in the coming years,” said Javier Sanz Alvarez, FAO-EU Project Coordinator.

The EU is supporting agriculture and rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD programme. Implemented since 2013 with a total budget of EUR 234.5 million, the main goal of ENPARD is to provide economic opportunities in rural areas and reduce poverty in Georgia. More information on ENPARD is available at: www.enpard.ge.