Bank Republic and USAID/REAP Sign Terms of Cooperation

On November 25, the Terms of Cooperation was signed between Bank Republic and USAID/REAP, according to which USAID will provide technical assistance to the bank on Agricultural lending issues. The signing ceremony took place on the premises of USAID/REAP office, 47 Kostava str.
USAID/REAP will support and facilitate BR’s intention to increase its levels of agricultural lending in Georgia, which would include working with BR on the development of a new agricultural finance strategy with an emphasis on agro-business, which is to be aligned with Bank Republic’s mission and vision.
REAP will assist in the drafting and adoption of a formal agricultural lending strategy as well as operational principles that will guide the implementation of the strategy (operational structure, staffing, marketing of products, marketing plan, etc.).

PERSUAP Training for FSC/MSCs

On November, 21 USAID/REAP organized a half-day PERSUAP training session to improve knowledge of REAP’s beneficiaries in USAID’s environmental regulations on pesticide support and integrated pest management. The training session was led by REAP’s consultant Alan Schroeder and attended by 12 FSC/MSCs, USAID’s NEO, and Farmer-to-Farmer.

USAID/REAP Seminar on Building Powerful Brands

On 29 October, USAID/REAP organized  the seminar for nine grant recipient businesses and three Branding Companies to give company executives, brand managers and marketing staff a variety of insights and recommendations that will influence how they build and exploit world class branding, packaging and marketing solutions, seminar was conducted by Jeffrey Spears. 

The first session was hands-on workshop - allowing participants to better understand the tangible and intangible qualities of truly competitive branding and packaging solutions. 

The second session included instructional seminar, presenting ideas and recommendations related to market research, effective brand strategies, compelling packaging designs and related marketing activities.

USAID/REAP Agro Lending Training for Banks and Financial Institutions

In coordination with the Georgian Banking Training Center and the Agriculture Projects Management Agency (APMA), REAP held two trainings for financial professionals on agriculture risk analysis and underwriting techniques for primary production and postharvest handling and processing loans. Led by international consultant Daniel Gies and REAP Access to Credit Specialist Paata Zakarashvili, these trainings were tailored based on a previously conducted needs assessment of financial institutions and combined practical case studies with theoretical knowledge on topics such as the agriculture credit cycle, value chain financing and agriculture risk analysis. In addition, APMA’s Mr. George Jibladze outlined eligibility and collateral requirements for banks to access the Cheap Credits Program.
Training participants included middle management from the lending and credit risk departments of various financial institutions. The first training, conducted September 24-25th, was attended by 25 financial professionals from eight commercial banks, two leasing companies and two micro finance institutions. This training focused on financing for annual crops (wheat, maize and potato), perennial crops (citruses, tea, apples and peaches) and livestock (beef and dairy). Training participants received an overview of the agricultural production process, an introduction to agricultural processing technologies and an overview of farm risk and mitigation techniques.
The second training, conducted September 29-30th, was attended by 18 financial professionals from seven commercial banks, one leasing company and three micro finance institutions. Focusing on value chain finance, the second training covered agricultural loan product development and business risk analysis and mitigation techniques. In addition, two case studies were presented to program participants to improve loan monitoring techniques and financial ratio calculations.

USAID/REAP Trainings on Post-harvest and Refrigeration/Cold Storage Facility Design

USAID/Restoring Efficiency to Agriculture Production (REAP) held two trainings on post-harvest best practices and cold storage facility design.  Because there is a lack of proper post-harvest handling and cold storage infrastructure in Georgia, it is very difficult for fresh fruit and vegetables consolidators and exporters to diversify to high end international markets without proper practices.  It is vital for local stakeholders to develop capacity in this direction and train their technical staff members in proper handling of fresh fruit and vegetables from farm to warehouse. This is the only way to keep quality and freshness of Georgian produce and utilize opportunities related to export to the European Union and other high value markets.  USAID REAP invites the media to attend these trainings to learn more about the project, participate in the training and have the opportunity to take photos.

WHAT:  First Training on post-harvest best practices and refrigeration/cold storage facility design for citrus and sub-tropic fruit

WHERE:  Batumi, Adjara at Batumi State University, Mtsvane Kontskhi

WHEN: 17-21 September, 2014

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WHAT:  Second Training on post-harvest best practices and refrigeration/cold storage facility design for apple and stone fruit handling

WHERE:  Gori, Shida Kartli Region, Gori Vocational College (Gantiadi) 2 Besiki str, Gori

WHEN:  23-27 September, 2014

Agro Lending Training for Banks and Financial Institutions

The visit of international STTA Mr. Daniel Gies was held from June 21-July 1

The purpose of visit was preparation of training course for financial institutions in agro lending, as well as preparation of recommendations for USAID’s DCA program members.

Mr. Gies has met with 12 Banks, 3 leasing companies and 2 MFI’s representatives, to identify financial organizations precise needs for design training courses in Agro lending best practices.  

Training courses will be managed by REAP project, with cooperation of APMA and GBA training center.

 

The training is designed for Banks’ credit officers, intended for best practice of agro lending.

USAID/REAP Postharvest Training Program Development by WFLO

 An adequate postharvest handling system is key to the successful development of the agriculture sector in Georgia. A shortage of qualified post-harvest specialists is often cited as one of the biggest challenges for the long-term development of Georgian agriculture. To address this challenge, in April, 2014 REAP, through its sub-contractor World Food Logistics Organization (WFLO) conducted a postharvest and cold chain training needs assessment. WFLO experts Ms. Kerstin Hell and Mr. Richard Dowdell met with representatives of Georgian postharvest handling facilities as well as vocational colleges and universities engaged in agricultural education. The meetings, which took place in primary growing areas throughout Georgia, were designed to develop a demand-driven and tailored training program to upgrade the Georgian post-harvest sector. REAP plans to offer this training program to its beneficiaries in late September, 2014.

Integrated Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) within Monitoring and Evaluation System in REAP

Integrating Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) within the REAP Monitoring and Evaluation System REAP is tasked with incorporating principals of cost benefit analysis (CBA) into the framework of its project Monitoring and Evaluation system. CBA is utilized primarily to monetize the inputs, outputs, outcomes, and impacts as a result of REAP implementation over the life of the project. As one example, CBA will enable REAP to monetize the value of jobs created by the project and more accurately measure the subsequent increase in incomes of grantees and other beneficiaries.

REAP is committed to integrating CBA within the program M&E system and is the first USAID project in Georgia to begin incorporating these principals to evaluate project grant proposals. To further integrate CBA into the project REAP invited Dr. Joseph Tham, professor of Public Policy at the Duke Center for International Development, to conduct a 10 day workshop during March and April of 2014. While on assignment, Dr. Tham trained REAP staff on CBA methodology, assessed the feasibility of expanding the use of CBA on the project, and offered recommendations to the project and to USAID for further incorporating CBA into REAP's M&E system.