About - Sharing Knowledge for Rural Development (Georgia)
Summer 2017 - Bareti, Republic of Georgia
Bilkis Bharucha, 2nd year M.S. International Agricultural Development, Agricultural Resource Economics. D-Lab Involvement: RIFA fellow for D-Lab Satellite Project in Republic of Georgia, Summer 2017
RIFA Fellow and IAD/ARE graduate student Bilkis Bharucha traveled to Georgia to teach local graduate students about project framing and management in Tbilisi, and to complete a community assessment in Bediani in hopes of identifying farming and business opportunity. The Bediani Children’s Center (BCC), an orphanage based in Bediani village, Republic of Georgia, is developing a production and educational farm in Bareti to expand opportunities for BCC members and for the local community. BCC worked with international partners including D-Lab at the University of California, Davis for expertise on the farm’s technical and educational planning. The farm began preliminary work in 2016, conducting a physical site assessment (soil, climate and water analysis) with help from a German development agency (GIZ), followed by a community needs and assets assessment in summer 2017 with UC Davis RIFA fellow and local Georgian students as a result of its partnership with D-Lab at UC-Davis.
The community assessment was conducted to collect information on the needs and available resources in the villages, identify potential impacts of the farm’s irrigation plan and to identify developmental needs and priorities of the village. The farm will begin full operations in 2018 and plans to provide educational and technical access to local farmers to improve economic opportunities in the village.