On 6 July, on the occasion of World Youth Skills Day, EU ENPARD implementing partner RDFG organised a training session on food safety for the members of the Young Farmers’ Centers in Tetritskaro municipality.
The training conducted by the Executive Director of Tetritskaro Local action Group (LAG) Nino Tikurishvili, was attended by young members from Samgereti, Khaishi and Tsintskaro Farmers Centers. At the training the children received information about the production of bio products, food quality, organic and genetically modified products, healthy food and food safety standards. After the training the participants visited a cheese factory in the village Tsintskaro to see how the information acquired at the training can be used in practice. The director of the factory showed them the equipment and the process of cheese production and explained to them how to meet the food safety requirements. The young farmers also had opportunity to taste different types of cheese produced by the factory “Tsintskaro”. During the event the children had chance to get to know each other better, share the knowledge acquired at the farmers centers and exchange ideas.
“I want my village to develop and I want young people to have more opportunities here”- said Mariam, member of Samgereti Young Farmers Center. She and her friends are trying to contribute to the development of their community and with the help of RDFG they wrote a project proposal and have already got a grant to arrange a meeting place for young farmers near the school. Now they can gather together on their own initiative and plan their activities independently.
The Young Famers Centers, created with the support of EU ENPARD programme, is an approach of RDFG that brings together school children from rural communities to demonstrate the benefits of modern agriculture as a source of livelihood security in their local communities and an alternative to migration to urban areas. The members of the RDFG Young Farmers’ Centers are trying to give their villages a new life through the various activities and turn it into a place where they themselves would love to live.
With the EU support, RDFG opened Young Farmers Centers in 8 villages of Tetritskaro municipality and is teaching young members the leadership skills, civic participation, advocacy as well as the entrepreneurship and new technologies and innovations in agriculture to help them see this field from a different angle and engage them in the development of their own communities. With the help of RDFG young farmers are also creating demonstration plots that give them the opportunity to put their theoretical knowledge acquired at the training sessions into practice and see how it works. In the future, 10 Young Farmers Centers will be formed in 10 schools of Tetristkaro Municipality.
The model of Young Farmers’ Center in Tetritskaro municipality is created under the EU-funded project “Rural Development for Sustainable Growth of Tetritskaro Municipality” in the framework of the second phase of European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) and is implemented by the Association of Rural Development for Future Georgia (RDFG). ENPARD uses a LEADER approach to economic development. Fundamentally, it is the energy and resources of the local people that contribute to the rural development process by forming partnerships at a sub-regional level between the public, private and civil sectors. The LEADER approach is associated with local empowerment through local strategy development and resource allocation. The main tool for the application of the LEADER approach to area development and involving local representatives in decision-making is the Local Action Group (LAG).
The project partners are Agro-Technology Association (ATA), Lithuanian Local Action Groups Network and the Ministry of Agriculture of Lithuania.