Programme profile

ALCP: Alliances Caucasus Programme (Phase 3)

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 Alliances Caucasus Programme (ALCP) is a Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation market development programme implemented by Mercy Corps Georgia working in the dairy, beef, sheep and honey sub-sectors in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan rural regions all highly dependent on livestock production.

The programme has been audited according to the Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED) Standard and is committed to the successful implementation and measuring of Women’s Economic Empowerment.

The new phase of the ALCP began in April 2017 and is set to run until February 2021. 
Previous phases: phase II ran from 2014-17 and phase I ran from 2011-14.

Market systems

Meet, dairy, honey, wool.


Invest with private sector actors and national associations to develop access to:

  • Veterinary outreach
    e.g. facilitation of National Level Inputs suppliers to develop a rural distribution model, training, laboratory, home pharmaceutical manufacture market and export.
  • Nutrition
    Development of stronger regional linkages and cross-border availability for combined feed and grain; improved access to machinery service providers to increase the quality and timely provision of hay machinery services to livestock producers.
  • Information
    Training and information dissemination across all supporting function interventions e.g. through the media, online technical videos, social media. To build peer-to-peer networks between countries and promote integration of agri-journalism modules at the universities of Armenia and Azerbaijan.
  • Finance
    Financing models with machinery suppliers for hay machinery for machinery service providers. 

Market access and terms of trade intervention

Invest with private sector entities and relevant governmental bodies on:

  • Facilitated expansion and sustainability of the businesses in the dairy, meat, wool and honey market via added high value product / product and market diversification. e.g. product diversification to stabilise the expansion of export of processed/chilled sheep meat to Iran and other foreign markets and to underpin sustainable growth in the meat sector; for improved product grading, supply quality, stabilised expansion and increased processing capacity to underpin the sustainable growth of the greasy wool sector. Facilitation of access to export markets for honey and dairy entities in Georgia.
  • Increased accountability and transparency in sourcing, purchasing and sales practices by retailers. e.g. supermarkets, mini markets, agro markets, wholesalers.
  • Increased consumer awareness of dairy, meat, and honey food safety and hygiene related issues and advocacy.
  • Increased youth and women access to and diversification of rural/livestock market system related economic/entrepreneurial opportunities.
  • Facilitation with the National Food Agency of cross-cutting rules interventions across all sectors including requirements for dairy, meat, honey and wool entities, and animal registration.
  • Capacity building of existing associations and regional development agencies for sector promotion.

Governance intervention

Co-investment and facilitation with local, regional and national government to improve rules related to the operating environment for small farmers in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

  • Collaboration with UN Women to expand and ensure the sustainability of women’s access to decision-making models, facilitated by ALCP, in Armenia, Azerbaijan and other areas of Georgia. e.g. the facilitation, expansion and sustainability of women’s resource centres in municipalities to ensure women's access to public goods equitably.
  • 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.
  • Improved consistency, resilience and reduced risk in the livestock market system. e.g. bio security and DRR initiatives.
  • Facilitating stakeholders in the area of conservation to bolster development of the rural tourism sector.


  • Rate of women’s direct use of services / access to market per intervention: 54%

  • Number of target farmers that have directly benefited from better access to veterinary services: 442,444

  • Number of rural households served: 430,008

  • Number of rural individuals served: 2,000,000

  • Number of full time job equivalent: 733

Net attributable incomes generated for programme beneficiaries:

  • For all households served: $28,000,000
  • For programme clients: $7,900,000

  • For Employees: $3,000,000


Updated June 2018