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A Further Review of the National Animal Health Program

The 31th meeting of the Surveillance Group of the National Animal Health Program headed by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Nodar Kereselidze was held at the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia.At the meeting, the participants were focused on the assessment of the activities of the veterinary service, private veterinary sector and veterinary education by means of the instruments of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The measures taken to supervise and monitor animal diseases and a strategic plan based on murrain outbreak risks in Georgia have been also evaluated at the meeting.The representatives of the National Food Agency, Laboratory of the Ministry, National Center for Disease Control and Public Health brought forward current activities and future plans.In 2019, after the completion of the program of the United States Department of Agriculture and the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, the Surveillance Group of the National Animal Health Program (NAHP) will lead the management. I think on the basis of the experience gained over the years we will work even more effectively. " - Nodar Kereselidze said.The representatives of the Department of Food and Rural Development, National Food Agency, National Center for Disease Control and Public Health, Laboratory of the Ministry of Agriculture, US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA), European Union (EU), United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) attended the meeting at the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture.
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The meeting with the Minister of Foreign Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan

 The First Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Nodar Kereselidze, met with the Minister of Foreign Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Jamshid A. Khodzhayev. At the meeting, the sides discussed possibilities for further deepening trade relations between the two countries. The participants have been focused on the cooperation issues in the scientific research field and drew their attention to the importance of agricultural equipment, its production and appliance in terms of the development and cultivation of grape varieties. Nodar Kereselidze stressed, that after signing the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area Agreement with the EU, agricultural cooperation with friendly countries in implementation of joint projects and sharing experience became even more important for Georgia. The First Deputy Minister highlighted state projects, which promote the rapid and efficient development of the agricultural sector in Georgia, facilitates to the growth of local production and development of agribusiness in the country. At the meeting, the Minister of Foreign Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Jamshid A. Khodzhayev noted, that, agricultural cooperation with the Republic of Uzbekistan is very important as the agricultural sector has a great potential in Georgia.
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Levan Davitashvili met with the representative of the World Bank

The Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Levan Davitashvili met with the representative of the World Bank, Senior Forestry Specialist on the forest law enforcement and governance, Tuukka Castrén.At the meeting, the Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture highlighted issues regarding, ongoing forest reform in Georgia, new forest code, criteria and indicators as tools towards sustainable forest management and drew his attention to the national Forest Education Strategy. Levan Davitashvili spoke about the damage caused by the fire in Borjomi Gorge in 2017 and underlined the importance of taking fire prevention measures.The representative of the World Bank expressed his willingness to provide a full support to overcome challenges in the forest sector.The Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, Solomon Pavliashvili attended the meeting.
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Maia Tskitishvili and Levan Davitashvili visited Kvemo Kartli region

The Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure, Maia Tskitishvili and Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Levan Davitashvili, together with local authorities, paid a visit to Kvemo Kartli and Samtskhe-Javakheti regions. The members of the Government together with local authorities discussed specific plans related to the infrastructure projects, which are planned to be implemented in the protected areas.The Ministers visited the Dashbashi Canyon in Tsalka municipality. The canyon is a monument of nature. The astounding waterfalls create absolutely different micro-landscape, with characteristic micro-climate, specific fauna etc. The canyon will be an interesting object for many visitors in the near future. Under the visit, the Ministers visited visitors’ service center in Javakheti Protected Areas in Ninotsminda Municipality.At the meeting, Maia Tskitishvili and Levan Davitashvili discussed possibilities of ichthyofaunal recovery at Lakes Paravani and Sagamo, they focused on amateur fishing and tourism development opportunities as well.According to Levan Davitashvili, several important infrastructural projects are planned to be implemented in the existing protected areas."Arrangement of infrastructure will enable us to increase income for local population and make protected areas even more attractive and interesting for tourists. Together with the Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, we visited different objects. In cooperation with the agencies, we will support regional development to create new sources of income "- Maia Tskitishvili said."It is important to study the potential of lakes Paravani and Sagamo and see if they can be added to the list of Javakheti Protected Areas. This will be one direction of rural development, on the other hand, projects related to the development of livestock and viticulture are directly related to this region" said Levan Davitashvili.Considering the climate conditions of the region the members of the Government delivered frost resistant plants, such as Birch tree, European fir and Northern pine  to the Phoka Nunnery of St. Nino.
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The officials visited terraces vineyards in Samtskhe Javakheti region

The Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia, Maia Tskitishvili together with the Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Levan Davitashvili and local authorities visited Municipality of Aspindza, village Chachkari, which was granted with the status of a national cultural monument on the basis of the resolution made by the Georgian Government in 2016.Vardzia was provided with agricultural goods from village Chachkari- a large amount of grapes were squeezed in winepreses carved in the rocky cliffs. In the village, except for damaged terraces,up to 50 winepresses carved in rocks and four-hundred years old vine variety has been preserved. As the Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure Maia Tskitishvili noted, it is important to restore Meskhetian vineyard in village Chachkari.Under the frame of the visit, the Ministers visited newly planted vineyards on the restored terraces in Aspindza municipality. TBC Group has restored the grape varieties in vineyards of Jigaura scientific-research center with the financial support of the International Charity Fund "Kartu". The vineyard built on terraces creates a microenvironment in the region.Maia Tskitishvili and Levan Davitashvili visited newly cultivated vineyards In the village Zikilia  , which was planted by the collector of grape varieties, Emzar Gachechiladze, where the nursery farm is also arranged , which enables to plant rare Meskhetian varieties. Emzar Gachechiladze makes wine from following grape varieties Meskhetian Green, Samariebo, Aspindzuri Shavi and Saparula and sells them at the local market.Under the visit, the participants brought forward projects , which give opportunities to restore historical places. According to Maia Tskitishvili, these activities are necessary to increase visitors interest, will contribute to the employment of locals and lead economic development of the region.
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The World Forum for Sustainable Hunting to hold in Spain

The Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Solomon Pavliashvili and the Head of the Department of Biodiversity and Forest Policy, Karlo Amirgulashvili attended the 65th Session of the General Assembly of Wildlife and Hunting International Council in Madrid. The events were organized by the Wildlife and Hunting International Council together with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Environment of Spain. It is noteworthy, that although since 2017 Georgia became a member of the International Council of Hunting, however participated in the International Forum for Sustainable Hunting for the first time. The General Assembly was attended by Prince Juan (John) Bagrationi and Diplomatic Corps. On behalf of Georgia, the Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, Solomon Pavliashvili addressed the delegates. The World Forum for Sustainable Hunting was held under the frame of the Assembly, where the participants discussed hunting related issues regarding, 2018 Trophy hunting Calendar, hunting game birds, also wild animal diseases, African swine fever virus (ASFV) wolf population regulation and other.
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The Information-Consultation Service Center celebrated its 5th anniversary

The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture Information-Consultation Service Center presented the report for 5 years. The information-consultation service facilitates the development of agrarian sector in the regions and is regarded as the mediator between the government and farmers. The Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Levan Davitashvili attended the presentation.The Minister underlined the importance of the activities undertaken by the information-consultancy service and noted, that their activities support the development of the agricultural sector in the regions."Through your support, the Ministry has dealt with the difficult tasks and challenges facing in recent years. We appreciate your job, although we have new challenges ahead. With the support of the European Union, we have adopted a new extension strategy and its large part aims to strengthen the information-consulting service and to move to a new stage. You provide an assistance and an excellent consultation service to make farmers work more efficient, especially for those living in the regions. Moreover, you timely inform farmers about the projects planned by the Ministry, which is of utmost importance for the agricultural sector development "- Levan Davitashvili said.The Network of Information-Consultation Service was established in 2013 and is comprised of  9 Regional Divisions and 45 Information-Consulting Service centers. The employees of the centers provide an annual support to thousands of farmers across the country as well as information about the state projects.At the event, the representatives of the Information-Consulting Service centers and Regional Division of all regions were awarded for their successful endeavors.The Deputies of the Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, former Ministers of Agriculture and representatives of international organizations attended the presentation.