Programme profile

ALCP: Alliances Caucasus Programme

Armenia Azerbaijan Georgia Asia: West & Central Agriculture

Project description / objective

To reduce poverty and exclusion in rural areas of Georgia and parts of Armenia and Azerbaijan through higher income and employment opportunities in more sustainable livestock, honey and related market systems.

The programme is targeting 40,000 livestock and honey producers, generating tangible positive income changes to a value of  USD $3.8 million (direct) / $0.7 million (indirect) due to improved services and markets and productivity increases of 10 per cent. The target for net attributable income for employee, business and SME financing is USD $8.3 million.

Current: phase III, April 2017 - March 2022
Previous: phase II, 2014-17 / phase I, 2011-14

Visit the new ALCP2: Alliances Caucasus 2 programme (2022 - 2026)

Market systems focus

For dairy, woolhoney and meat there has been increased value-added production and product diversification for SMEs and facilitated access to cross-border and export markets. There has been more diversified market access and terms of trade for livestock and honey producers.


About 90 per cent of agricultural producers in Georgia are small-scale farmers operating on a minimal inputs system. Small-scale farmers produce up to 90 per cent of agricultural output.

No marketing emphasis had been placed on the promotion of the competitive advantages of the product and its natural grass-fed character to stimulate demand and added value.


Constraining factors for Georgia’s mutton export include:

  • customer trust in terms of compliance with halal requirements
  • logistics, delivery and related transaction costs within acceptable time frames

The same constraints exist for wool exports.


There are about 14,074 beekeepers in the sector.

Main constraints blocking the development of the sector to a standard that would allow producers to meet national and international requirements:

  • lack of access to proper inputs, medicines, information (both private and public)
  • affordable laboratory testing services
  • stable export markets


About 90 per cent of agricultural producers in Georgia are small scale-farmers operating on a minimal inputs system. Smallscale farmers produce up to 90 per cent of agricultural output.

No marketing emphasis has been placed on the promotion of the competitive advantages of the product and its natural grass-fed character to stimulate demand and added value.


Enrichment of the agricultural sphere through the improvement of agricultural information provision.

A lack of access to reliable and relevant agricultural information was negatively impacting rural farmers' and beekeepers’ participation in agricultural markets. They were at a disadvantage in negotiations with informal traders and were largely excluded from formal markets.

Programme interventions


Expansion and sustainability of private sector dairy enterprises in the dairy market by:

  • the addition of high value products
  • product diversification
  • diversification of the market

Quality Assurance development

  • Georgian Milk Mark, an audited system of participating dairies guaranteeing the rudiments of traceability, safety (HACCP) and quality and adding value to natural milk sourced from grass fed cows.
  • Formation of industry association: Georgian Milk Federation to defend interests and advocate.
  • Facilitated outreach of business support services to provide business development and food safety consultancy; environmental, occupational safety and social risks assessment services.

Processed sheep meat/wool (export)

  • Expansion of export of processed/chilled sheep meat to Iran and other foreign markets rather than live export and to underpin their sustainable growth.
  • Improved wool grading, supply quality, stabilised expansion of export of washed and greasy wool. This adds value and increases processing capacity of wool collecting/processing companies to underpin the sustainable growth of the wool sector.
  • Expansion of the Bio security point model to Armenia. Further development of a Georgian network with newly allocated local routes, new governing entities, two new government co-financed points and a water point system.


  • Expansion and sustainability of honey aggregation/export companies with added high value product / product diversification and diversification of the market. Stabilised expansion of export of honey.
  • Increased self-representation, empowerment and advocacy by honey system processors and manufacturers. The formation of a honey umbrella association - the Georgian Beekeepers' Union - and the MEPA honey committee together with the National Food Agency, the private sector and other key stakeholders to remove barriers to export around the honey sector’s widespread use of antibiotics.
  • Facilitating stakeholders in the area of conservation to bolster development of the rural tourism sector including ongoing development of the Goderdzi Alpine Garden.
  • Bio certification of Jara wild honey and development of honey sector testing, images, promotion, aggregation for export and brand development with the private sector and the formation of the Georgian Beekeepers' Union uniting ten associations, three private sector entities and over 6,000 members.

Meat and milk production

  • Increased capacity of slaughterhouses and an improved infrastructure for by-product manufacturing.
  • Nutrition (all livestock):
    - increased national distribution network and regional expansion of improved feed
    - regional sales bases in Armenia and Azerbaijan, developed from Georgia, of hay-making machinery and spare parts, including financing options
  • Export of veterinary inputs based on a smallholder model developed nationally across Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia. Regional online multi-lingual, multi-functional platform for smallholder farmers and industry stakeholders, developed by national veterinary inputs suppliers.

Information, gender and governance

  • Enrichment of the agricultural sphere with improved agricultural information provision. Peer-to-peer networks developed as well as agri-media provision and integration of agri-journalism modules at universities in Armenia and Azerbaijan.
  • Collaboration with UN Women to expand Women’s Rooms nationally in Georgia from 29 municipalities to 65. Expansion of Women’s Rooms in Armenia. Continued facilitated access to public goods and financing through 31 Women’s Rooms. (Women’s Room services include consultations, computer/internet services, children’s corners, space for meetings/training, library etc)
  • Improving the efficiency of information transfer among export value chain actors.
  • Development of an advisory committee function to facilitate long-term complex multi-stakeholder interactions to find solutions to key constraints prioritised in the agricultural sector e.g. honey, meat, dairy and sheep.

Notable results (systemic change, poverty impact)

The programme has achieved substantial scale and systemic change well beyond the initial designated programme areas and targets. It has devoted itself to learning, excellence and participation in a global community of practice in MSD including being audited successfully twice by the DCED Standard for Results Measurement. It has furthered learning and practice in Women’s Economic Empowerment and harnessed market systems programming to generate significant impact in transversal themes with a 51 per cent average of female usage and access across all interventions.

  • Number of rural households served: 623,583
  • Number of rural individuals served: 2,151,000
  • Number of full time job equivalent: 806

Net attributable incomes generated for programme beneficiaries:

  • For all households served: $30,570,000
  • For programme clients: $9,810,000
  • For Employees: $3,490,000

For more detail please see the programme website


The development of the dairy sector and programme interventions have impacted 24,494 farmers who now benefit from access to stable, secure and diversified markets.

With regular milk sales to 41 programme-facilitated dairy enterprises (with an investment of USD $4.7 million and 56 per cent going to the programme and 44 per cent to the clients), the farmers generated USD $7.6 million between 2008 - 2020 from selling raw milk. 89 per cent of beneficiaries were women who report a general sense of well-being and a positive expectation of what their lives should be, based on improved quality of life.

158 (74 female / 84 male) full time jobs created by ALCP-facilitated dairy entities after the expansion and sustainability of the client in the dairy market.

Processed sheep meat/wool (export)

The programme-facilitated slaughterhouse and wool collector have improved business practices / acumen and outreach to export markets (Iran, UK, India, Canada, Germany, USA). In total this has affected 9,622 LHP’s who have generated tangible, positive income changes amounting to USD $1,319,700 as a result of enhanced market access. In particular:

  • 4,628 farmers have sold up to 900 tonnes of wool to wool collectors since 2016, generating USD $215,700 net additional income
  • 4,994 farmers have been reached and are selling sheep / livestock to programme-facilitated slaughterhouses for export since 2016, and have generated income worth GEL 2,870,557 (USD 1,104,000).


  • Since 2017, 12.7 tonnes of honey were collected from 57 Georgian beekeepers, generating income worth GEL 49,300 (USD $18,961); 2,6 Tonnes of five types of honey were exported by the programme-facilitated local company KTW to export to Japan, Germany, Canada and UAE. The rest is being distributed / sold at the local markets.
  • A new Georgian Beekeepers Union website was created. It will open up new learning opportunities for beekeepers and a database of up to 4,300 beekeepers (to date) has been created with an SMS service.

Meat and milk production

  • Since 2017, 10,929 beneficiary households increased productivity by 10 per cent as a result of better livestock feeding practices.
  • From 2011 - 2017, 442,444 households have used improved veterinary services (including consultation, availability of high quality drugs) throughout Georgia. This has generated USD $10m for them from reduced transaction costs and from time saved treating their livestock.

Information , gender and governance

  • Interventions around the improvement of information have affected 153,208 consumers of information. Improvements have been made to the agricultural content of 14 information channels including newspapers, TV programmes and internet sites.
  • 20 Universities have integrated agro-journalism study modules in Georgia, Armenia and Azebaijan, with 400 students gaining degrees that included the agri-journalism modules.
  • 17,790 visitors have accessed 31 municipal Women’s Rooms services. Most also received funds from state/ local budgets, donors and NGOs (totaling USD $2,754,200) after instigating initiatives improving/establishing their businesses/start-ups or projects for their community.
  • A total of 126 (112 female, 24 male) new jobs have been created through Women’s Rooms.


[Updated July 2020]