04 Jun Expanding the Market to the Farmer
Locally based sorting, grading and packaging of potatoes moves the market to the farmer, cutting costs by providing farmers with the urban market in the country where the potatoes are grown. Linking the city to the country reduces marketing costs and risks for the farmer and the urban buyers, improving the efficiency of moving higher quality potatoes to the consumer.
Recently, 23 farmers and entrepreneurs from Samtske Javakheti and Kvemo Kartli Regions were shown the benefits of a modern, locally based Sorting & Packaging machine in a Grading center in Bolnisi district. The demonstration was conducted by consultants from the German company Euro-Jabelmann, and coordinated by local firm DV + with technical advice and support of the Rural Economic Development Programme (RED).
The participants were able to see for themselves how this process will be good for them, by providing year-round, fixed local markets, firm production contracts and identifiable, traceable packaging, which will lead to increased sales and revenue.There are plans for more such demonstrations planned by DV+ to attract more farmers to the practical benefits of this modern value chain system, in which everyone wins.It is hoped that more of these types of facilities will be established in other municipalities.
This project is one part of the value chain development assistance and support provided by the Rural Economic Development (RED) Programme. Sevencommercial Model Farms demonstrate for potato growers how to increase production and quality while lowering the farm production cost per metric ton. The hands-on and vocational training provided by these commercial farmsis expected to benefit an estimated 1,700 potato growers in the Samtske Javakheti and Kvemo Kartli regions of Georgia. Better production alone however does not lead to economic improvement for the farmer, it requires reliable, efficient links to the market. Those first linksarethe locally based grading and packaging facilities to purchase and move an estimated 20,000 tons of potatoes,nearly 10% of total production in these two regions, to the institutional buyers in the urban markets. These first of their kind facilities effectively move the buying point from the city to the country, where the farmers are and will benefit up to 2,000 small and medium sized farms.
DV+LLC, founded in 2003,provides services to over 2,000 local farmers in the region. The company is the main provider of potato seeds, fertilisers, pesticides and irrigation material. With assistance from the RED Programme,the aim is to make DV + a significant part of the potato business in Kvemo Kartli Region, leading to improved market access and revenues for local farmers and better quality produce for the consumer.