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Support of Women Dairy Farmers in Georgia

In the regions Abkhazia and Samegrelo in Georgia, many people rely on farming to provide for their food and income. While men often take charge in machinery operations and crop production, women are key actors in dairy production. In 2020, new food safety regulations have been introduced in Georgia and dairy farmers now have to comply with minimum standards in hygiene, equipment and production techniques. However, many small-scale dairy producers struggle to live up to these elevated standards and are now fighting a battle against falling into poverty. Therefore, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has started the program of the farmer field schools which runs from 2020-2024. The aim is to support women dairy farmers who want to improve their produce quality and assist them in self-employment. Now that the project is advanced halfway, Vera Devine (PEM) is reviewing its progress. She is focussing mostly on finding out how the project can be steered to achieve more sustainable outcomes and what adjustments are necessary for the successful completion. This round cheese is called Chachkaval, a “new” type of cheese that can fetch considerably higher market prices than the cheeses produced for daily consumption. Women dairy farmers can learn how to produce this cheese in the farmer field schools.