FAO in Georgia

EU and FAO promote environmentally friendly practices of pest control to Increase Quality and Quantity of Georgian Wine


In 2022,The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, through the support of the European Union, under its EU4Business initiative, implemented a Mating Disruption Programme, bringing an innovative agricultural practice to the country.

The European Grapevine Moth - Lobesia botrana, is responsible for severe losses in grape production in Georgia. It reduces harvest by approximately 40% while also affecting the quality of grapes and, naturally, the wine that gets produced from them.

In 2022, the EU and FAO supported twelve small, medium, and large-scale wine producers by introducing an innovative, organic solution that lessens the need to utilise pesticides. The Mating Disruption Programme uses female pheromones to disorientate male Grapevine Moths. As a result, they are unable to locate females. This leads to a decrease in the number of laid eggs and Grapevine Moths themselves, which decreases the damage to the vineyards.

Hence, using pheromones allows for more sustainable and environmentally friendly production of grapes and facilitates the production of organic Georgian wine.

In 2022, the EU and FAO supported this practice in more than 200 Ha of vineyards, and the twelve producers reported a 40% increase in harvest. They also reduced their expenditures on chemicals. Importantly, it is now easier for the beneficiaries to further advance in their integrated pest management.

Mating disruption through pheromones becomes more effective after each harvest season. In 2023, FAO, through the support of the EU, will increase its support and involve wine producers from the Western part of Georgia, which was not the target in 2022.

The EU-supported Mating Disruption Programme has created a successful precedent for advancing organic farming in Georgia, as well as improving the food safety standards and reducing the risk of human consumption of wines with pesticide residues. Producing higher-quality wine could have a considerable impact on Georgia’s economic development, especially in the context of increased competitiveness in the national market, as well as with regard to export. 

This way, FAO and EU contribute to the development of the farming communities in Georgia and work toward achieving better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life in Georgia. 

The Mating Disruption Programme was implemented by FAO and supported by the EU under the EU4Business initiative - EU Innovative Action for Private Sector Competitiveness in Georgia, along with other sponsors. The initiative aims to assist Georgian entrepreneurs in improving the legal environment and access to finance while strengthening ties with the European Union.