Gfa

Tbilisi

16a Ateni Street

+995 32 2 193 003

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Info@gfa.org.ge

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Agriculture Demo and Learning Center in Udabno

Georgian Farmers’ Association (GFA) is committed to transforming a 6-hectare land near the Udabno village area, Sagarejo, south-east Georgia into a multifaceted hub for agricultural innovation, education, and collaboration. The center will focus on four main directions: Experimental Stations, Training and Extension Center, Digital Farming, and Public-Private Partnership (PPP).

The objective of establishing the Agriculture Demo and Learning Center serve as a comprehensive hub for advancing agricultural knowledge and practices.

· The center aims to provide farmers, agricultural professionals, and enthusiasts with a dynamic platform for hands-on learning, showcasing innovative technologies, sustainable farming methods, and modern agricultural techniques.

· By creating an immersive and interactive environment, the project seeks to bridge the gap between traditional and contemporary farming approaches.

· The Agriculture Demo and Learning Center will focus on disseminating cutting-edge information, fostering skill development, and promoting best practices to enhance overall agricultural productivity.

· Through workshops, demonstrations, and educational programs, the center aims to empower the farming community with the tools and insights needed to adapt to the evolving landscape of agriculture.

Additionally, the project will prioritize accessibility, ensuring that the center becomes a valuable resource for a diverse range of stakeholders, thereby contributing to the broader goal of creating a resilient, informed, and sustainable agricultural sector.

The Agriculture Demo and Learning Center will serve different purposes:

1. Experimental Stations

Establish fruit, vegetable, wine, and grain demo plots to test and showcase modern agricultural technologies. Including covering and catching crops, green manure, and introducing a crop rotation system. Partnership with the Scientific Research Center of Agriculture within the ministry as well as Information Consultation Centers that are responsible for extension purposes under the Rural Development Agency.

GFA will conduct research and studies in collaboration with local and international research institutions. Partnership with input and service suppliers that operate on the local market, test their products, and recommend farmers the best ones, – materials, equipment, and technologies. Cooperation with academic institutions to provide practical training space for

students and long-term partnerships will allow master’s and Ph.D. students to conduct their studies and experiments at the location.

2. GFA’s regional office, training, and Extension Center

GFA will construct a building that will serve as a regional office as well as a training and educational center that will host farmers and other interested parties. The building will have office and training spaces, a kitchen, a couple of bedrooms for visitors, storage for tools and equipment, and an agricultural laboratory. The training center will allow visitors to get theoretical training, while land will be divided into different zones for demonstration and practical training purposes. Host training sessions and courses led by international and local experts on modern and innovative agricultural technologies, covering topics such as climate-smart agriculture approaches, conservation and regenerative agriculture, and precision farming. Waste management will be demonstrated at its best applications like composting organic waste and using it as a soil amendment separating all other kinds of waste and managing it accordingly. All in all, the demo plots will serve as a source of replication for interested farmers, fostering knowledge dissemination.

3. Digital Farming

Focus on precision agriculture using digital technologies, the introduction of agrometeorological stations, precise irrigation and fertigation, satellite monitoring systems, agro-drones, and climate control systems in Greenhouses using sensors and digital appliances. Climate-smart agriculture and regenerative practices will be tested and demonstrated. A small laboratory that GFA owns will be established at the new location, we will additionally install a weather station that will allow the implementation of weather wearables to monitor and adapt farming practices based on local conditions. It will also allow the validation of crop disease models using digital tools and the development of digital approaches in irrigation, fertigation, and farming.