The green shoots of growth in Georgia: hydroponic farming with EU support

The green shoots of growth in Georgia: hydroponic farming with EU support

The green shoots of growth in Georgia: hydroponic farming with EU support

The FINANCIAL -- Growing Georgian vegetables by employing the latest European technologies – this is the motto of one Georgian enterprise which has benefited from EU support and seen production and profits soar as a result.

Since its establishment, Imereti Greenery has been gradually expanding its greenhouse coverage and now occupies two hectares of territory in the city of Samtredia in the western part of Georgia. Lettuce and cucumber here is grown through hydroponic farming – a modern method of agriculture whereby crops are cultivated without soil by using mineral nutrients in a water solvent.

Smart use of geothermal waters makes farming at Imereti Greenery much more efficient and responsible. The producer’s clients comprise of major supermarket chains and high-class hotels in Georgia.

EU4Business and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) are part of the company’s success story. With the help of the EU-supported Advice for Small Businesses programme back in early 2016, the enterprise introduced modern accounting standards which made its financial reporting much more effective and relations with banks more successful.

Following this support, production was up 75%, profits rose by 380% and the number of staff grew by 129%.

The EBRD Advice for Small Businesses programme, funded by the EU in the Eastern Partner countries under its EU4Business initiative, aims to promote good management in the SME sector by providing assistance to individual enterprises, helping them to grow their businesses. It supports SMEs to make structural changes and develop new business skills, helping them to thrive and compete in market economies. The programme also enables SMEs to access local consulting services on a cost-sharing basis by providing grants of up to €10,000.