To give best agricultural knowledge and hands-on experience to the future agronomists in Georgia, EU and FAO provide agronomy students with a remunerated internship opportunity. Young agronomists from four different Georgian universities practice agricultural hands on work in support to farmers under the EU-funded ENPARD programme that supports agricultural and rural development in the country.
Young agronomists from Akhaltsikhe, Batumi, Kutaisi and Tbilisi capitalize on the unique chance to work and study at FAO’s agricultural demonstration plots all over Georgia. Working closely with the FAO international and national experts and local farmers, interns enrich their knowledge in the areas of Climate Smart Agriculture, Integrated Pest Management, Conservation Agriculture and Good Agriculture Practices.
The students spend several days per week in the farms, working and learning more productive and sustainable methods of growing such crops as broccoli, lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, eggplant, cabbage and others, under open field, as well as greenhouses. During the season, they support farmers to set up the gardens and plots and to organize Farmers Field Days to share the acquired knowledge with the farmers from neighbouring communities.
“The future of the agriculture in Georgia depends on young specialists who will be able to teach farmers and adapt the newest technologies in the field. FAO and EU will continue to put all efforts to train agronomists and farmers in Georgia to reach better harvests and use the best practice available”, said Javier Sanz Alvarez, FAO-EU project coordinator.
In the frame of the Agronomy Internship Programme, FAO also cooperates with Georgian private agriculture companies, like Agromotors, holding trainings in utilizing modern agricultural machinery. Specialists from the company, together with the FAO experts provide classes on the use of mechanisation with practical exercises. Other private companies like Mziani Mosavali and Cartlis have also supported the programme teaching these, young soon to be Agronomists.
“I have spent six months living on a farm, within the frames of this program. I have learned so much from FAO specialists and local farmers, attended crucially important theoretical and practical trainings which definitely will help me in my future career,” said Meri Bekauri, one of the FAO interns.
One-year internship will be open to the new candidates from the beginning of the next year.
The EU is supporting agricultural and rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD Programme. Implemented since 2013 with a total budget of EUR 179.5 million, the main goal of ENPARD is to reduce rural poverty in Georgia. The first phase of ENPARD in Georgia focused on developing the potential of agriculture. The second and third phases of ENPARD focus on creating economic opportunities for rural population that go beyond agricultural activities. More information on ENPARD is available at: www.enpard.ge.