Tamar Toria has been holding the position of the Executive Director at the Georgian Farmers’ Association (GFA) since January 2015. In addition to general daily operations of the organization, Tamar is responsible for the activities of GFA Call Centre, PR, Procurement and Logistics, Mobile Application “Agronavti”, Certification and Vocational Educational Departments, fundraising and implementation of the donor funded projects, as well as development and implementation of the services for member farmers, in correspondence with the GFA Strategy. Tamar represents GFA and its member farmers at different working groups and boards and carries forward key messages respectively.
Besides, Tamar is an Advisor on Donor Relations at the Farmers’ Council, is a member of the Appeal Board of the Educational Programs for General and Higher Education Institutions, a member of the Ilia Tsinamdzgvrishvili Public Vocational College Supervisory Board etc.
Prior to joining the Association, Tamar has worked on economic development and agriculture programs in the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia and with different donor organizations and donor funded projects such as British Embassy to Georgia/DfID, Millennium Challenge Georgia Fund (MCG) and USAID funded New Economic Opportunities Initiative (NEO).
Tamar graduated from Tbilisi I. Chavchavadze State Institute of Western European Languages and Culture and holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Georgian-American Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA). She is a graduate of the Mastery of Management Graduate Diploma program in Corporate Strategy & Planning at International Cambridge College, is an alumni of Stanford University Leadership Academy for Development (LAD) Training Program “The How Of Policy Reform” and USDA Cochran Fellowship Program in Agribusiness Management and Marketing at Fresno, California, USA. She has also obtained other numerous certificates from various courses both at home and abroad.
Rati [Irakli] Kochlamazashvili joined the Georgian Farmers’ Association (GFA) as a Deputy Chairman in March, 2020. Before he served as an advisory board member of GFA during 2018-2019 years. Last six years (2014-2019), Rati was a Deputy Head of the Agricultural Policy Research Center at the ISET Policy Institute, where as a project manager and lead researcher, he implemented over 20 projects covering most of the agricultural value chains of Georgia. During 2012-2013 years, Rati was a junior scientist at the University of Minnesota (USA).
In addition, Rati serves as a deputy head of Sheep Breeders Association of Georgia (since 2014); co-founder and executive director of Tusheti Development Fund (since 2015); advisory board member of the Association of Georgian Agro Journalists (since 2018), etc.
Rati holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from Tbilisi State University. During his master’s studies, he spent a semester at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich) working on the master’s thesis (2011). After graduation, he studied applied and agricultural economics at the University of Minnesota in the United States (2012-2013). He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Tbilisi State University. In addition, he has attended the Teaching Fellow course in Czech Republic (2015) and the MASHAV course in Israel (2018). Since 2015, Rati is an invited lecturer of Economics at University of Georgia (2015-2017) and Ilia State University (since 2017). He is fluent in Georgian and English.
Kakhi Jashi joined the Georgian Farmers’ Association in 2014 as the Financial Director of the Association. Prior to that, since 2012, Kakhi had held the position of the financial manager at the Regional Development Association and participated in the implementation and financial management of the projects of such donors as BP, EC, USAID. From 2004 to 2012, Kakhi was a financial manager at the LEPL Health and Social Projects Implementation Center (National Center for Disease Control and Public Health). During this period, he kept close relationships with government agencies as well as with international donor organizations such as the World Bank, European Union, Global Fund, etc. He has been involved in the implementation of many national and international projects as a financial team leader and manager. In 2001-2004, he worked as the head of the credit department at the Didube branch of the United Georgian Bank.
In 1996-2004, Kakhi studied at the Tbilisi State University, majoring in Finances and Banking (bachelor’s, master’s). He holds a master’s degree from Cambridge International College (Financial Strategy & Decisions). In 2006-2010, he successfully completed the following advanced training courses:
Kakhi is fluent in the Georgian, Russian, and English languages.
Koba Zhorzhikashvili joined the Georgian Farmers’ Association (GFA) in June, 2016. He is the Manager of the Procurement Department. Besides above-mentioned, he is responsible for the organization’s logistics.
Koba holds the Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Tbilisi State University. He also holds Cambridge’s International College’s Certificate in Management and Leadership.
He is fluent in Georgian and English.
Tamar Lasurashvili has been holding the position of the HR Director at the Georgian Farmers’ Association (GFA) since January 2021. In order to achieve Association’s strategic long-term development goals Tamar is responsible for the Human Capital related processes – HC Planning, Selection, Recruitment & Retention, Performance Evaluation, Potential Identification, Engagement, Motivation etc.
Tamar is HR professional with more than 14 years of experience in different sectors, including FMCG & retail. She tries to make a positive impact on business processes, people’s lives and the environment. She is a Guest Lecturer of MBA Program in Caucasus University, one of the top universities in Georgia. She is happy to contribute to the development of talented and motivated professionals who shape the future of the country.
Besides, currently she holds the position of Chief HR Officer of Georgian Beverages Holding. The holding unites companies that produce wine, licensed beer, non-alcoholic beverages & provide sales and logistics services. Her most recent employment includes serving as Sales Systems and Development Manager, beforehand HR Chief of EFES Georgia Operation – Natakhtari Brewery. She is founder of HR and IPR Association – AREA; Member of HR Professional associations; She contributes to HR field development in the country for many years. Tamar is often invited to conferences as a speaker or mentor for next generation of HR professionals.
She has a master’s degree in International Business Management from Grenoble Ecole de Management (Grenoble Graduate School of Business) dual MBA program, France. She is a certified international trainer and an assessment center specialist (CEB Global – SHL).
Nikoloz Meskhishvili has been holding the Vocational Education and Training (VET) expert position at the Georgian Farmers’ Association (GFA) since 2016. In addition to general daily operations of the VET Department and in the process of educational reform, Nikoloz coordinates the implementation of the Worked-Based Learning/Dual VET in Agriculture. In accordance with the GFA Strategy, Nikoloz is head of VET department.
Nikoloz is a board member of Awarding the Right to Implement Vocational Training Vocational Retraining Programs. In addition, he is involved in Sector Skills Organisation (SSO) Agro Duo and participates in Thematic Working Groups of VET Reform Strategy. Prior to joining the Association, Nikoloz had worked in the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia as the Head of Social Support Partnership Division at VET Department. In the process of VET, Nikoloz was involved into
the international donor organizations projects such as UNDP, SDC, EU, MCG, DVV International, World Vision etc. In the process of internationalization of VET, Nikoloz supported VET students exchange agrarian oriented program in Germany.
Nikoloz is an affiliate member of Cambridge International College and holds double Master’s degrees in International Service Management from London Metropolitan University (UK) and Stenden University (The Netherlands). Nikoloz graduated from Tbilisi State Institute of Economic Relations, where he obtained a diploma in the field of International Economic Relations. In addition, he holds diplomas in Business Management Administration and Sales & Marketing from Cambridge International College. Nikoloz has also obtained other numerous certificates from various courses both local and international. He has completed Leadership and Personal Change course run by Stephan Covey and completed the capacity-building of the Georgian Leadership Community Program for Improved Decision-Making and Negotiation Skills implemented in partnership with Estonian School of Diplomacy (ESD).
The development of services is a new direction for Georgian Farmer’ Association (GFA), that is led by Ani Zurabashvili. The organization has great resources to support a farmer and Ani is doing her best to come up with the right needs and offer tailored services to it.
Her work experience includes brand and marketing direction. Ani’s first job was at international creative agency Saatchi&Saatchi, managing various local and international projects. For several years she also worked as Brand Manager, for world-wide known brands such as Bacardi Martini.
Before starting work at Georgian Farmers’ Association, Ani graduated joint masters of Wine Tourism and Marketing, she got knowledge at three different Universities: Spain – University of Rovira I Virghili (URV), Bordeaux Science Institute of Vine and Wine (ISVV) and University of Porto (UP).
Koka Dogonadze joined the Georgian Farmers’ Association in March 2021. He holds the position of Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist. Before that, Koka has worked as a Monitoring and Evaluation Manager at the Regional Development Association. From 2013-2019 he has worked on projects funded by various donors (USAID, EU, bp). Koka was actively involved in agricultural projects as an evaluation team member (ENPARD, Enterprise Georgia).
From 2000 to 2012 he has worked in various public and commercial organizations. (Parliament of Georgia, State Department of Youth Affairs of Georgia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, United Water Supply Company of Georgia, Caucasus Logistics Company, etc.)
Koka holds a master’s degree in public administration. He has participated in many international and local programs and trainings (Intercultural training course, Policy analysis course, Public procurement training, Financial trainings, The definition of psychosocial adaptation of personality – course, Business management course, Leadership and Communications training, Time management training).
He is fluent in Georgian, English and Russian.
Ketevan Gogotchuri joined GFA team in 2015. At the moment, she works as a Head of Analytical and Research Department. Ketevan leads the Department’s team, provides general supervision of the work of the staff by assigning and prioritizing work assignments, providing instructions, reviewing work performed, and evaluating employee performance. She is also involved in proposal writing and project management.
Ketevan has experience in monitoring and evaluation, research, analysis, and management. She holds Bachelor degree in Economics from Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (2013) and Master degree in Economics from International School of Economics (2015). During 2012-2013, she studied at the University of Latvia, faculty of Economics and Management.
Since 2015, Ketevan has been a Visiting Lecturer at Ilia State University, faculty of Business, Technology and Education, where she teaches Principles of Economics (Microeconomics and Macroeconomics). Ketevan is also a member of Aragvi Local Action Group (LAG) since 2021.
Ekaterine joined GFA team in 2012 as a Call Center manager.
Ekaterine is responsible for inbound and outbound calls. She also coordinates the work of call center operators providing them with information about upcoming activities necessary for farmers. She organizes meetings to update the Farmers’ Association database and makes sure of its correct operation.
In 2007-2012 she was an assistant to the Principal Deputy of the Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia.
Ekaterine holds a Specialist Diploma of an interpreter-translator from Technical University (Tbilisi, Georgia).
Tamta joined GFA team in 2017. She holds the position of Head of Agriculture Technologies (AgriTech) and Innovations Division. Tamta is engaged in managing, controlling and developing activities for GFA’s Digital platforms. Tamta has working experience in public sector and 8 years’ experience in managerial position. Prior to joining the Association, Tamta has worked in Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia. LEPL Educational and Scientific Infrastructure Development Agency at head of Planning and Analytic Branch. Since 2008, instead of her experience in public sector, Tamta has held various positions in the private sector. Tamta has a Master’s degree from Ilia State University. She also has a Master’s Degree from Cambridge University in International Relations and World Politics. Tamta is a certificated coach who trains people in different professional fields. Tamta is currently pursuing her Ph.D. degree at Technical University. From 2020 she an Associated professor at Business and Technology University of Georgia.
Sandro Kandelaki in 2021 joined the Georgian Farmers’ Association (GFA) as a head of digital technologies and innovation division.
Sandro worked for 5 years developing tech products. in Georgia and global market as well
In addition, Sandro is invited lecturer in Ilia state university.
Natia Mskhiladze joined the Georgian Farmers’ Association in February 2018. She holds the position of Communications Manager. Its function is to develop the organization’s communication strategy, event management, media relations and media strategy, media monitoring, editing the organization’s quarterly and annual activities, editing web content texts, organizing project-based campaigns, organizing campaigns and other activities. Manage media pages. Prior to that, Natia had 15 years of continuous experience working in both the media and the public and private sectors. He is a blogger of various publications and the author and presenter of the idea of ”Agrostop”. Is the co-author of the publication “Advencherer”.
Natia holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Technical University. Natia holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Technical University. She also holds a Diploma in Event Management from Cambridge International College And Georgian-American University Diploma in PR and Marketing Communications. Has completed a one-year course funded by the US Embassy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Georgia: “Politics, International Relations and Economics.” She also holds a diploma in short-term certificate courses in “Marketing”, “Advertising on Social Media”, “Sign Language, Communication Theories and Methods of Influence”. Is a participant in the Georgian-Ossetian dialogue in Kosovo (Berlin supporter of the Berghof Foundation, partner of ICCN).
Maiko holds the position of a designer in the Georgian Farmers’ Association.
Nuki joined the team of the Georgian Farmers’ Association in 2020 and coordinates the project “Skills for Employment and Cooperation – Perspectives for the Regions of Georgia”, which aims to develop vocational education and implement agricultural education programs in the field of work-based learning (WBL) approach.
Nuki has many years of experience in vocational education institutions and in Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of Georgia’s , vocational education development department, as she was involved in the process of vocational education reform, as well as in the format of public-private partnerships and international donor organizations (EU, MCA, GIZ, UNDP, WB , ADB, KFW) at the stage of implementation of individual projects. She has also been a member of the jury for the annual National Vocational Education Award competition for several years.
Nuki has a bachelor’s degree in Art History and Restoration at the Apollon Kutateladze Tbilisi State Academy of Arts, Faculty of Art History and Theory. She has also completed a number of short-term international and local certification courses, including graduating the International Visitor Program (IVLP) (2018, Washington, California, Alabama, Texas, New York).
Dali (Dako) Barjadze has been holding the position of HR Specialist of the Georgian Farmers Association (GFA) since January 2021. Before joining our team, Dali worked as a recruiter in Adjara Group. At the Georgian Farmers’ Association, in addition to the day-to-day operations of the HR Department, Dali is responsible for staff documentation, including contract preparation and production of staff files, coordination of HR Department administrative matters, staffing, accounting and monitoring, preparation of monthly payroll with the Finance Department; Participate in hiring and developing a staff training program. Dali graduated from Caucasus University School of Law (CSL).
She has completed both international and local certification short-term courses: BDO Academy HR Management Course, Recruting Academy – The Ultimate Guide to Sourcing in the 21st Century, CIPE Trainings, which included the following issues: labor relations, labor inspection, trade unions, labor safety, as well as dialogue between management and employees, consultations, lockout and mediation in labor relations.
Nana (Nuka) Gogia joined the Georgian Farmers Association in February 2021, on a position of Internal Auditor and Risk Management Specialist. Before, she worked in wine industry, where she was an Operations Manager in the sphere of wine producing management. She has five years of working experience in accounting and auditing. She worked for an international auditing company for four years. From the beginning, she was an accountant and then she got promoted as a senior auditor. She has covered nine months as an intern in the Finance and Procurement Departments of the Administration of the President of Georgia.
Nuka received her higher education at the Georgian-American University and has a bachelor’s degree in business administration. She has completed in IFRS and auditing training. Nuka is fluent in Georgian, English, French and Russian languages. She graduated with honors from the French College of Saint Exupéry. Has participated in student exchange programs in France and Italy, where she efficiently accomplished various courses.
David Mamulashvili joined the Georgian Farmers’ Association (GFA) as a Finance Officer in August 2016. During 2007-2016 Years David has worked in various Georgian Audit Companies as Senior Auditor, he also worked in Finance department (Financial Analyses and consultancy) for several companies.
In addition, David is Independent auditor certified by the Parliament of Georgia (from 2012 year)
David holds a Bachelors Degree in International Economic Relations and Air Transport Management from Georgian Aviation University (former Georgian Technical University – Aviation Institute).
Ana Tsverianashvili joined the Georgian Farmers’ Association in March 2014. He holds the position of Financial Officer. Prior to that, in 2011-2013, Anna worked first as an accountant, then as an audit assistant at the Royal Audit. For the last seven years, Anna has been working for the Georgian Farmers’ Association.
Anna graduated from the Georgian Technical University with a bachelor’s degree in public administration. Has also passed the first stage of ACCA. Anna is fluent in Georgian and English. Works in accounting programs ORIS Accounting and 1C ERP.
Natia Grigolia has been holding the position of an Accountant at the Georgian Farmers’ Association (GFA) since 2012. Natia is responsible for the production of financial records and account reports.
She has undergone training to work in software product 1C ERP 2.
She graduated from Tbilisi Technical University.
Natia joined GFA team in 2017 as a Data Analyst. Prior to GFA, Natia worked at National Statistics office of Georgia as a Senior specialist of National Accounts Division. She has extensive experience in research, data analysis, and monitoring.
Natia holds Bachelor degree in Business Administration (Management) at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University and Master degree in Economics at the International School of Economics (ISET). Currently, she is a Ph. D student in Economics at Caucasus University. Since 2015 up to now she is a visiting lecturer of Principles of Macroeconomics and Microeconomics at Georgian National University.
Giorgi Bulia joined GFA team in March 2021 as a Senior Researcher. At the moment, Giorgi is responsible for reviewing announced tenders and preparing / submitting relevant proposals, planning and implementing surveys within projects, cooperating closely with sector experts and coordinating their activities. Giorgi is also involved in the preparation of analytical reports / blogs.
Giorgi has six years of experience in monitoring and evaluation, research, analysis and management. In 2018-2021, Giorgi worked at PMO Business Consulting as a business consultant and researcher, and in 2015-2017 he was employed by GeoWel Research as a researcher. Giorgi has strong qualitative and quantitative analytical skills. Giorgi holds a Bachelor degree in economics from Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (2013) and a Master degree in economics from the International School of Economics (ISET) (2015).
Ana joined the Georgian Farmers’ Association as a senior researcher in February, 2021. She is responsible for developing and implementing the Market Price Information System as well as carrying out ongoing research and analytical projects.
Ana has three years of experience working as a business analyst. She has completed several business plans and feasibility studies. Her fields of expertise include agriculture, international trade, light manufacturing and the tourism and hospitality industry.
Ana holds a Masters degree in Economics from the International School of Economics and a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from Tbilisi State University. Since 2016, Ana has been a visiting lecturer at New Vision University.
Ana Menteshashvili joined Georgian Farmers’ Association’s team in 2020 as a researcher. In addition to research department, Ana is involved in other projects implemented by the GFA and is responsible for the implementation of planned activities.
Ana has a Bachelor of Science: Chemistry/Biochemistry degree from San Diego State University.
Ilia joined Georgian Farmers’ Association in 2018. As a Certification Specialist he works on organizing quality infrastructure for fruit and vegetable value chains, as well as business model development for agricultural enterprises. He is responsible for working with farmers for achieving compliance with different standards and legislation. At the same time within the association he is engaged in mobile laboratory services, agritourism, education, occupational health and safety, environmental protection and sustainable development (SDGs).
Before GFA, Ilia worked at Agricultural University of Georgia (2015-2018) on different fundamental and applied scientific-research projects. During that period, in cooperation with different organizations, he was engaged on international projects in following fields: environmental protection, supporting local communities and community based organizations, raising awareness of civil society organizations on SDGs.
Ilia is a Bachelor of Business Administration (2014), Master of Agronomy (2016) and a PhD student in an Agricultural Technologies program (since 2019).
Natia has 15 years’ experience in banking and finance, operational and financial risk management. 5 years’ experience in entrepreneurship – founder of Georgian innovative startup Soplidan.ge (online platform simply connecting farmers and customers, with home delivery system.
Team Leader experience in different projects (Initiated by UN Women Georgia, IFAD, EU) — Coordination of project team, Planning, supporting, and providing all activities in scope of project; Provide monitoring over the entire period of the action; Ensure the timely submission of all the deliverables, monitoring forms.
Mentorship and training experience in start-up field (entrepreneurship, management, communication, sales, risks management, crisis management)
MBA degree from Caucasus University of Georgia.
Simon Tsikarishvili joined the Georgian Farmers’ Association as a Project Coordinator and Procurement Assistant. Before, he completed an internship at the Financial-Economic Department of the Ministry of Finance of Georgia in the field of public procurement.
Simon graduated from Caucasus International University with a bachelor’s degree in finance. During his Bachelor’s studies, he spent 1 year at the Universidad de Alcalá (ERASMUS+), Madrid, Spain.
Simon is fluent in Georgian and English.
Tamar Chkhikvishvili joined the Georgian Farmers’ Association (GFA) as a Livestock Consultant and Certification Specialist in May, 2020. She is working on a GeoGap certification on a dairy farm, she is involved in activities related to livestock.
Tamar holds a Master’s degree in Veterinary Medicine from Georgian National Agrarian University. She has also participated in the educational exchange program in Estonia. Now she is pursuing her PhD in Epidemiology and Public Health. Before joining the GFA, Tamar was employed as a Risk Assessment Specialist at Scientific-Research Center of Agriculture and worked in a clinic as a Veterinarian.
Nika Ninua has been holding the position of an Agro-business Monitoring Specialist at the Georgian Farmers’ Association (GFA) since January 2021. Prior to joining our team, Nika had worked as a Monitoring Specialist at the Rural Development Agency (RDA) since its establishment.
At the Georgian Farmers’ Association, Nika, in addition to his daily activities, is responsible for monitoring all stages of the project, collecting and updating the necessary project data, and preparing the final reports.
Nika graduated from the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Faculty of Law.
Tamar Gomiashvili became a co-worker of the Georgian Farmers’ Association (GFA) in February, 2021. Within the framework of GFA, Tamar acts as a secretary for the Farmer’s Council. Tamar is accountable for coordinating and auditing the Farmers’ Council meetings; assuring the members’ participation on various levels, keeping all documentation in a good order; and communicating with relevant state and/or private enterprises. Withal, she is a member of Association’s working group on climate change and environmental protection.
Tamar holds The Cambridge International General Certificate of Education : Advanced Level (GCE A-Levels) in Sociology, Psychology, Media Studies and Photography from Highbury College, Portsmouth, UK.
Tamar is currently enrolled at Caucasus University (Bachelor’s Degree), studying Psychology. She also holds a certificate in Human Resource Management from that very university. Tamar speaks in Georgian, English, and Russian languages.
Irakli Archvadze joined the Georgian Farmers’ Association in early 2021. He holds the position of the Sales Specialist in the Services Department. Prior to that, in 2019-2020, Irakli worked as an Operations Manager at the Georgian Farmers Distribution Company, where he had active contact with local farmers and Horeca companies. This experience and knowledge will facilitate to introduce the needed services to the farmers within the newly created Services Department.
Before moving to this field Irakli worked in banking sphere for 7 years, both for local and international banks, such as Société Générale, Procredit Bank, in the positions of Georgian branch Director.
From 2012 to 2014 Irakli worked as a business lending expert at JSC ProCredit Bank Georgia. From 2014 to 2017 he held the position of Branch Director at JSC Bank Republic, as well as in 2017-2018 at JSC TBC Bank.
Irakli holds a Master’s degree in Banking from the Georgian Technical University and a bachelor’s degree in Banking from Tbilisi State University (TSU). Irakli has passed a number of certificate courses in both sales and services. Fluent in Georgian and English.
Nini Gogichashvili has joined the Georgian Farmers’ Association (GFA) team in 2021, she holds the position of a CSR specialist. Prior to becoming a GFA team-member, she has worked at Adjara Group as a HRMS Project Coordinator and later as an Assistant to the CEO.
Nini holds the Honorary Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and European Studies from Lazarski University, Poland and the Coventry University, the UK.
Ekaterine Tarashvili joined the Georgian Farmers’ Association (GFA) in March 2021. Prior to that, in 2013-2020, she used to work in a number of large companies, where she was actively involved in the implementation of ERP Systems and has experience in project management.
Ekaterine holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from Tbilisi State University (TSU) and a Master’s Degree from Georgian University.
Ketevan Kadagidze has been working at the Georgian Farmers’ Association since its foundation. She is the operator at the organization’s Call Center.
Keti is responsible for the smooth operation of the Call Center. She is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Call Center, such as collecting data, answering phone calls and giving consultations, finding solutions to farmers’ needs, and providing administrative assistance.
Lado Basilidze joined the Georgian Farmers’ Association (GFA) as a Senior Expert Scientist in November, 2020. In addition, Lado holds various positions in other organizations, namely: he is a head of bio-production project at the German-Georgian joint enterprise – “Caucasus Organic Fruits Ltd.” (since 2018), he is also coordinator of scientific project at the Agricultural University of Georgia (since 2019) and project consultant at the Biological Farming Association – „Elkana” (since 2020). During 2016-2018, Lado was a project manager at the “Rural Communities Development Agency (RCDA)” and also a scientific project assistant at the Agricultural University of Georgia. In 2017, Lado was a Fellow of the German Corporation for International Cooperation GmbH (GIZ). In 2015, Lado held the position of Environmental Project Assistant at the “Caucasus Environmental NGOs Network (CENN)”.
Lado holds a Master’s Degree in Forestry from Agricultural University of Georgia. He also holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and Tourism from Guram Tavartkiladze’s Tbilisi’s Teaching University. During one semester in 2014, Lado studied forestry at the Czech University of Life Sciences (CULS) in Prague. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in forestry at the Agricultural University of Georgia. Lado is fluent in Georgian, English and Russian.
Saba Meskhi has been a member of the Georgian Farmers’ Association team since April 1, 2017. Initially, he was involved as a project coordinator in the Food and Agriculture SME Support Initiative (FASSI). From April 2018, he became Senior Certification Specialist in USAID project – ZRDA Activity in Georgia (ZRDA) and from 2021 changed his position as a Specialist in the Department of Agronomy and Certification. From 2019 to present, Saba is the Administrative Manager of the project – “Safety and Quality Investment in Livestock – Georgia” (SQIL), implemented by the American organization “Land O’Lakes venture 37”.
From 2012 to 2017 Saba Meskhi worked at the LEPL “National Food Agency” of the Ministry of Environment and Agriculture, where he held the position of Senior Specialist in the Department of International Relations.
Saba graduated from the Georgian American University for Humanities in 2012. In 2017, he received a master’s degree in food technology from the Georgian Agrarian University.
Irina Tkhelidze has been working with national NGOs and managing donor-funded development projects since 2015. Her experience is profound in field operations and management of teams over 20 people. Throughout her two decades of career, she was committed to private sector as marketing and financial manager of large fuel distribution and construction companies, respectively, and spent two years as public servant on the post of the Purchasing Department of National Investment Agency. Irina has been actively engaged in business consulting for projects varying from entrepreneurship trainings to organization of large scale events. She is also the author of Access to Finance guidelines for SMEs published by the National Bank of Georgia in 2019. Irina holds her MBA degree from ESM Business School Tbilisi and is a Bachelor of Georgian Technical University with specialized in Public Administration.
Ana (Anka) Babunashvili has joined Georgian Farmers’ Association since 2017. Anka holds the position of Digital Transformation Specialist. In addition to being responsible for the continuous operation of digital platforms within the Association, she is Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Agronavti.
Anka is involved in discussing and developing innovative digital ideas within the association, creating and implementing technical assignments for their implementation.
Anka graduated from Caucasus University and holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration (CSG). In addition, she has passed the Certificate Course in Digital Marketing Principles and Social Media Management.
Tekla Gurgenidze joined the team of the Georgian Farmers’ Association in 2018. Tekla holds the position of Certification Specialist in the Department of Agronomy and Certification. She Works on the development of the local standard for the primary production of fruits and vegetables, the maintenance of quality infrastructure for sustainable agriculture and food systems. Tekla also works as an Assistant to the Department of Vocational Education, where she is involved in the implementation of vocational education projects, coordinating with partner organizations, including active communication with educational institutions, the private sector and government agencies.Within the activities of the Association, she is involved in the implementation of environmental issues and sustainable development goals in various directions.
Tekla has worked for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) – Georgia Vocational Education and Extension Systems Project, The USAID/Georgia Restoring Efficiency to Agriculture Production (REAP) project. Tekla is the winner of the Mariam Kutelia Grant Project implemented within the framework of the USAID / REAP project funded by CNFA Georgia.
Tekla is a Master of Agronomy at the Georgian Agrarian University, a young scientist, a graduate of the University of Padua, Italy, and holds a Master’s degree in Geneva. Member of the “Ecological Safety” Commission of the Georgian National Academy of Sciences. She is Participant in local and international training courses, winner of the Republican Olympiads in Soil Science, speaker of international multidisciplinary conferences, author of scientific articles and papers
Ana Kobalia has been holding the position of the Call Center Operator at the Georgian Farmers’ Association (GFA) since March 2015.
Ana is responsible for the smooth running of the Call Center. She is responsible for carrying out the day-to-day activities of the Center, such as collecting data, answering telephone calls, finding ways to address the needs of farmers, and consulting them.
Ana graduated from the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Faculty of Humanities, majoring in Russian language and literature.
Nestan Mermanishvili has been working as Associations and Private Sector Development Specialist at the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) funded project Safety and Quality Investment in Livestock, Georgia (SQIL) under the program Food for Progress 2018 that has been running by Land O’Lakes Venture 37 in partnership with Georgian Farmers’ Association since 2018. As a development specialist in the dairy and beef farming industry development process in Georgia, she is in charge of empowering industry associations and lobbying, through the institutional development, for local food producers’ interests. At the beginning she was holding a position of Associations Development Specialist but later she demonstrated her skills in market system development and facilitation of small and medium sized entrepreneurs’ market access and marketing and therefore, Nestan was appointed as Associations and Private Sector Development Specialist.
Nestan has been working on social and economic development projects for more than 10 years. Previously Nestan worked on a project funded by the SDC (Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency in Georgia) which strove for rural economic conditions improvement through market system development (MSD) approach. She was in charge of disseminating information to farmers through regional media capacity building and institutional development. Within the framework of the project, she supported founding of Association of Georgian Agricultural Journalists – the first agricultural journalists’ association in Georgia. Six months after the founding the association became a member of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists.
Before, Nestan was working at the local non-governmental sector for the implementation of rehabilitation programs. She coordinated therapy programs at Women’ Penitentiary with the support of Global Initiative on Psychiatry – Tbilisi funded by the European Union.
Nestan graduated from Shota Rustaveli Theatre and Film Georgia State University in 2006 with a bachelor degree majoring in Business Management. In 2010, she graduated from Shota Rustaveli Theatre and Film Georgia State University with a master’s degree in Humanitarian Sciences. Since 2020 Nestan has been studying at Geneva Graduate Institute at the Developing Practices and Policies program. Topic of the thesis is the implementation of livestock farming sector development policy by an effective institutional approach.
Nestan’s interests lie in domains of local agriculture and economy development, introduction of local food industry to international audience and focus on unique local products. With farmers’ mentality changing and the acceptance of the market oriented system, it is very important to be a player/influencer in this transition period.