April 28 - May 2, 2014 Georgian NGO - Biological Farming Association ELKANA hosted 5-days study tour for the Azerbaijani NGO - Agro Information Centre (AIM). The study tour was designed to share experience of organic farming development in Georgia with Azeri colleagues and to expand their theoretical and practical knowledge in organic agriculture.
Currently AIM is implementing second phase of the adaptation project supported by BrotfÃ¼r die Welt (BfdW), Germany. The project focuses on conservation and organic farming practices, and contains advocacy component for small farmers. With support of EED (at present BfdW) ELKANA has been working on all these directions since many years and has gained big experience in these fields.
Two staff members of AIM and three Azeri farmers participated in the study tour specially designed to meet their interests. Besides taking part in introductory and experience sharing workshops organized in ELKANA, the participants visited other organizations involved in organic farming & environmental issues - CENN, "Bio Agro", "Caucascert", "Future Farmer" and Regional Information Centre in Marneuli. But the most productive has been field visits organized in three regions of Georgia - Samtskhe-Javakheti, Kvemo Kartli and Shida Kartli, where the study tour participants guided by ELKANA consultants had a possibility not only to talk directly with farmers involved in different sectors of organic agriculture, but also to stay overnight in rural tourism accommodations of ELKANA member farmers, get introduced to ELKANA rural tourism network and observe ELKANA agricultural biodiversity demonstration plot in vil. Tsnisi, Samtskhe-Javakheti.
After the compilation of the study tour AIM and Elkana have agreed on organization of the next exchange visit in Azerbaijan