On December 19, 2014, a tasting event was held by the Biological Farming Association Elkana with financial support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Small Grants Programme of the Global Environment Facility (GEF SGP) and German organization “Brot für die Welt”.
Guests had an opportunity to get acquainted with the outcomes of Elkana Agricultural Biodiversity Conservation Programme, as well as to taste Georgian traditional dishes cooked from Kakhetian pork, as well as wheat, chickpea and grass pea local varieties. In addition, as long as the event was held in the Georgian Culinary Academy, the guest had an opportunity to take part in the cooking process.
Supporting Georgian Agricultural Biodiversity Conservation is one of the major directions of Elkana’s programme being financed by “Brot für die Welt”, Germany for years. Since 1996 Elkana has been working on conservation of cultivated plants; for the purpose of conservation and dissemination to interested farmers Elkana breeds several especially important and endangered local species of domestic animals1 – Kakhetian Pig, Georgian Mountain Cow (Tush-Khevsuruli) and five populations of chicken – (Natsara, Kheltitvela, Megrula, Black and Straw-colored) since 2011 in the Experimental-Demonstration Farm in Village Zemo Khodasheni, Akhmeta Municipality. In 2011-12 the domestic animals conservation project was financed by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Georgia and Armenia within the framework of the Social Transition Programme (MATRA).
Since 2013 Elkana has been implementing a two-year project “Conservation and Sustainable Use of Endangered Domestic Animals in Georgia” with support of UNDP/GEF SGP. About 60 farmers have been trained in breeding Kakhetian Pig and local populations of chicken as well as in farm management and business planning. Currently, three groups of farmers have been established in Kakheti (Villages Matani and Duisi in Akhmeta Municipality, and Village Nukriani, Signagi Municipality) and involved in the domestic animals’ conservation programme. Within the framework of the project, the farmers’ groups have been given calves, piglets and chickens bred in the Akhmeta farm, for further breeding and commercialization.
Governmental, Non-Governmental and International Organizations dealing with Agricultural and Environmental fields, representatives of restaurant chains and beneficiary farmer groups were attending the event. The farmers presented their experience and plans.