The south of Georgia is an ethnically-diverse, semi-mountainous region in the Caucasus with a rural population of 700,000 that relies heavily on livestock farming. Maintaining livestock health is crucial for the resilience of these families’ livelihoods, half of whom are living on less than $1.25 a day.
This case study concerns an initiative undertaken by Alliances Lesser Caucasus Programme (also known as Alliances) that used a market systems approach to address the root causes of farmers' poor access to veterinary services in remoter rural areas.
Ultimately, it did this through a partnership with Roki Ltd, a national firm that imports and manufactures veterinary products in Georgia. The collaboration led to a commercially-viable system to distribute veterinary products in rural areas and upgrade rural pharmacist’s premises and knowledge.
By March 2016, Alliances was able to report that 105,617 farmer households in the programme area alone were directly benefiting from better access to veterinary services. At least forty per cent of these farmers were women.
The benefits reported by farmers – healthier, more productive livestock that fetch better prices at market – go well beyond the regions where Alliances’ directly operated. Roki has rolled the model out in other parts of Georgia. When copying by other companies is included, Alliances calculate that over 466,299 farmer households now have better access to veterinary services.