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Thursday, April 24, 2014
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Swiss Supports Georgian Farmers in Producing High Value Artisan Cheeses

30/08/2013 12:28 (236 Day 08:25 minutes ago)

The FINANCIAL -- On August 31, Ambrolauri, Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti region, will host the first regional festival of traditional wine-makers. Wines from some 80 small cellars from Ambrolauri and Tsageri districts will be featured for tasting and purchase at the event. In addition to that, a number of small-scale cheese-makers and bee-keepers from Ambrolauri and Oni will present their produce to the festival. The event guests and participants will also enjoy  singing, dancing and sports competitions. 

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One of the highlights of the event will be a presentation of “Rachian Tradition” – a new brand of artisan cheeses on the market. The “Rachian Tradition” cheeses are produced by Makhvala Gagnidze, a cattle breeder from the village of Shkmeri, who is evolving her formerly small ranch into into a modern cattle farm and dairy plant, thanks to the support from the RDRL project.
 
The establishment of dairy plant in Shkmeri promises to bring about significant improvement to the life of local community. When functioning at full scale, the plant will employ from 10 to 12 local residents, and, what is even more important, buy milk from 30-40  local farmers in order to produce more cheese for the growing market of quality artisan dairy products. It is expected that the improvement in milk marketing opportunities will stimulate further development of cattle farming in Shkmeri and boost the local economy.
 
The project “Rural Development in the Region of Racha-Lechkhumi” is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by CARE International in the Caucasus in partnership with Georgian NGO Abkhazinterkonti. The project The project goal is to create sustainable income increase for farmers focused on the livestock sector through improved livestock husbandry practices and stimulated support services in beef and dairy value chains.

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