Limit pesticide use, maximize fruit production in Georgia

Kirk Ramer, chief of party for Chemonics in Georgia, explains the economic barriers that remain for the agricultural workforce in the country.

With markets in major urban cities, it remains difficult for small-holder farmers in mountainous, rural areas to transport their products, especially during rainy season, said Kirk Ramer, chief of party for Chemonics on the New Economic Opportunities Initiative in Georgia.

Another issue many farmers — no matter their location — have faced in the country is the high cost of pesticide spray.

Those growing fruit, for example, such as apples, peaches, pears and plums, know they need to utilize pesticide, but aren’t sure of the exact times to spray.

Now, meteorological stations set up throughout the country can gauge humidity and other factors to project the probability that certain type of fungus or pests might be a risk. A private farm service center can then send an SMS to farmers with suggestions on spray times, enabling farmers to reduce production cost and increase their yield.

Watch the video to find out what Ramer sees as untapped agricultural economic opportunities in Georgia.

Want to learn more? Check out Feeding Development's campaign site and tweet us using #FeedingDev.

Feeding Development is an online conversation hosted by Devex in partnership with ACDI/VOCA, Chemonics, Fintrac, GAIN, Nestlé and Tetra Tech to reimagine solutions for a food-secure future from seed and soil to a healthy meal.

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    Kelli Rogers

    Kelli Rogers is a global development reporter for Devex. Based in Bangkok, she covers disaster and crisis response, innovation, women’s rights, and development trends throughout Asia. Prior to her current post, she covered leadership, careers, and the USAID implementer community from Washington, D.C. Previously, she reported on social and environmental issues from Nairobi, Kenya. Kelli holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, and has since reported from more than 20 countries.