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New soil conservation technology for Georgia

Friday, November 21
Worldwide, 25 % of the humus layer is degraded. Fertile soil is the basis for any agricultural production both, organic and conventional. Based on practical experience and research, the tilling technology ECODYN has been developed to preserve and rebuild the soil without herbicides and fertilizers. The specific characteristics of the ECODYN are the combination of flat cultivation instead of ploughing with parallel direct seeding of different seeds in only one passage. Consequently this system saves diesel and time, and helps to rebuild the soil structure. Therefore this system is suitable for Georgia, since it can prevent disasters caused by drought and keep the moisture in the soil. Drought has been an issue in Georgia for the last years, with an exceptional effect in the agricultural season of 2014.

On November 13-14, 2014, a public event on appropriate soil conservation and tillage techniques with the involvement of international experts as well as a demonstration of direct seeding was organized for farmers of Kakheti region in the premises of Kachreti Vocational Educational Training College. Hosts of the event were the Georgian Association “Momavlis Mitsa” together with AISI, the Kachreti Vocational Educational Training College which was supported by the Biodiversity Management Project of GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft fur internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH) and MOLI Project (Market Opportunities for Livelihood Improvement in Kakheti) which is part of the Swiss Development Program in Georgia. The opening speakers of the event were Swiss Ambassador Guenther Baechler, the Deputy Governor of Kakheti Region Givi Metreveli as well as the Deputy Director of AISI VET College, Malkhaz Aslamazashvili. The 85 participants were mainly farmers including organic producers, as well as authorities from ministries and technicians from Mechanizatori machinery stations.

The public event had different components:

- The assembling of the machine together with Kachreti students was done by Swiss farmer Oliver Buergi, who has been involved in ECODYN technology for the last four years.

- The theoretical part of the event covered the soil conservation and crop systems. The German expert Friedrich Wenz introduced how ECODYN technology was developed. He has been implementing the technology worldwide with sustainable success.

- Hans Kellner, GIZ expert presented his 4 year experience in the Shiraki valley, located in Dedoplistskaro municipality in Kakheti region.

- The event was closed by practical demonstration that took place at fields of AISI Vocational Educational Training College, where participants could see the ECODYN machinery together with the Claas tractor Arion 620, which has been allocated by the Georgian company Noblex Ltd. from Tbilisi.

A follow-up workshop for farmers and machinery service providers will be organized in January/February 2015 with a specific focus on the integration of the ECODYN concept and the usage and adaptation of existing soil cultivation machines in Georgia. (CENN)