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CARE donates Agricultural Equipment to IDPs

Tuesday, October 5
Three agricultural machinery service groups from Koda, Shaumiani and Khurvaleti villages were granted agricultural equipment as part of the project “Stabilisation and Integration of IDPs into mainstream Georgian Society” (SIIMS). The groups were formed by local mechanisation farmers and IDPs from South Ossetia who were relocated to these villages after the 2008 August war.

“After having resettled here we were given some plots of land, but cultivation is costs a lot and we could not afford it. The agricultural machinery is a spark of new life and provides new income generating opportunities,” said Goderdzi Khaduri, Shaumiani Agricultural Machinery Service Group Leader.

This is the second round of donations of agricultural equipment to farmers’ groups. As part of the SIIMS project, CARE delivered agricultural machinery to Skra, Berbuki and Akhalsopeli service groups in March, 2010. Each set of equipment per service group includes a tractor, a plough, a mill for soil preparation, a disk harrow, a fertilizer spreader, and a cultivator, the total cost of which is 130,000 USD. To strengthen the institutional capacity of the groups, the SIIMS project also provides follow-up training on business plan development, accounting, cash management, etc

“Coming back in a year we hope to see that the impact will be that hundreds of families have more food on the table and more money in their pockets,” said Jonathan Puddifoot, Director of CARE International in the Caucasus at a handover ceremony in Marneuli.

The ceremony was attended by Minister of Refugees and Accommodation, Mr. Koba Subeliani and the Governor of Kvemo Kartli, Mr. Davit Kirkitadze as well as senior managers of international and local non-governmental organisations acting in Georgia and working on IDP issues.

A study commissioned by CARE in December 2009 found that the average income of IDPs is GEL 78 and that of non-IDPs – GEL 182; only 8% of IDPs and 12% of non-IDPs have formal employment. Over 50% of IDPs said that machinery would provide the most help in increasing agricultural productivity.

The SIIMS project is jointly implemented by CARE Norway and CARE International in the Caucasus along with the partner organisations: Civil Development Agency (CiDA) in Georgia, IDP Women’s Association “Consent” and “Centre for Training and Consultancy” (CTC). The project is financed by Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its total Budget is 19 Million NOK (2.9 Million USD). The project started in July 2009 and will last for 3 years.