Good grafting is essential for the professional sapling production, given its impact on quality and health of the plants . In many of the Georgian nurseries grafting is made manually which requires a tremendous amount of working hours.
Four Georgian wine grape sapling producer nurseries received an omega grafting machine with EU and FAO support under the EU Innovative Action for Private Sector Competitiveness in Georgia.
Two grafting machines were delivered to the nurseries in Mtskheta-Mtianeti and Kaspi municipalities and two more are delivered to Baghdati and Adjara. All four recipients of the grafting machines are members of Georgian Seeds and Saplings Association (GEOSSA). The Association was founded with EU and FAO support earlier in 2021. The main goal of the association is to boost the production of high-quality seeds and planting material and to comply with the upcoming certification system aligned to the international standards.
‘’With this new equipment, nurseries will be able to optimise their operations and the amount of work. If the capacity of manual grafting of one experienced worker could reach a maximum of 3 000 saplings per day, with the grafting machine this number can easily reach 4000. Experience is not as crucial as in manual process. This will reduce the costs and raise the effectiveness of the nurseries,” explained Sandro Sakandelidze, Secretary of GEOSSA.
EU and FAO support is especially valuable for smaller, family run nurseries, states Alexander Batiashvili. He, together with his family runs a nursery in Kvemo Chala village of Kaspi municipality.
“We got this new machine, and I can’t express my gratitude to the EU and FAO enough. We produce every kind of local wine grape variety saplings here, Saperavi, Shavkapito, Tsolikauri, etc. Now, we can do our work better and faster and hope to see our produce at every corner of the country,” Mr. Batialashvili said.
The EU, FAO and GEOSSA, support private nurseries and seed producers to improve the productivity and quality of their production, while encouraging collaboration within the sector and advocating for the producers’ interests at the governmental institutions level.
“It is critical for the agricultural sector to ensure the quality and quantity of the seeds and saplings that are produced locally, so that farmers in Georgia can pay less and be sure of the quality of what they are planting. We believe that the combined actions implemented by the EU, FAO and GEOSSA will contribute and lead the sector towards the compliance of the upcoming certification standards,” FAO-EU Programme Coordinator, Javier Sanz Alvarez stated.
EU Innovative Action for Private Sector Competitiveness in Georgia Joint Programme, implemented by FAO and other UN agencies (UNDP, IOM, UNIDO), was launched in 2018. The main goal of the Programme is to enhance entrepreneurship and business sophistication by strengthening the capacities of Georgian government and local entities to develop and operate clusters and support companies directly with strategic investments.