Green shoots in GeorgiaPublished: Apr 20, 2022 Reading time: 2 minutes
Teona Chogovadze from Georgia is able to grow vegetables and herbs in the winter and to sell off-season products at a fair price. Being able to sell such products has increased her family’s budget. Teona’s ability to grow food year-round is possible thanks to the support from the Czech Development Agency and the European Union—without whom she could not heat one of her greenhouses.
Teona and her husband grow vegetables in greenhouses to sell. They have been doing so for more than 20 years, and they keep expanding their efforts, little by little. In summer, they mainly produce cucumbers and tomatoes. In winter, they focus on herbs—fennel, coriander, parsley, green onions, tarragon, and lettuce. They have been able to increase their offerings thanks to the Local Action Group Tskaltubo (LAG Tskaltubo), who supported Teona with a small grant.
Noting how she was able to draw on the support of LAG Tskaltubo, she says that: “We wanted to install a heating system, but it cost a lot. My family could not afford to do it on its own. I wrote a project proposal, and it worked out. With the support of LAG, we purchased a heating system, a solid fuel heating unit, allowing us to grow cucumbers and tomatoes throughout the winter season.”
During summer, Georgian products are abundant on the market. Therefore, the price is low. “In winter, Georgian tomatoes and cucumbers are of good quality, so the price goes up. As imported vegetables are not that tasty, their price is relatively low,” Teona explains.
The “Local Action Group Tskaltubo” project is supported by the European Union—under the ENPARD programme—and the Czech Development Agency. By introducing the European LEADER approach to Georgia’s Tskaltubo municipality, we are contributing to poverty reduction and promoting participatory mechanisms in local decision-making processes. The business and social initiatives supported by small grants will also become models for others to follow, and our goal is to bring innovations to remote areas that will improve inhabitants' quality of life.