Young entrepreneur aims to develop Georgia’s agricultural sector
04 March, 2016
Young entrepreneur aims to develop Georgia’s agricultural sector
Meet Melano Dadalauri, yet another young Georgian entrepreneur, who decided to develop agricultural sector in her homeland through cultivating mushrooms and inspiring others to contribute to creating normal living conditions for the rural population in the region. After graduating from university in Tbilisi, the capital city of Georgia, 25-year-old Melano returned to her hometown Telavi in Kakheti, eastern region of Georgia, and started her own business.
“The main reason of high level of poverty in the country is the fact that agriculture sector in Georgia is not yet modernized. The number of farming organizations is few and they’re not able to enjoy the benefits of economics of scale nor compete with imported produce.So I started by growing mushrooms at my home. I already had the space for the greenhouse, so I was able to start up my business with just 200$. When I speak with the rural population, I often hear that millions are needed to start a business. I wanted to prove that it was not so, and I actually began to work with my bare hands. Through hard work and dedication, slowly my business began to expand. From my first profits, I was able to purchase more equipment to equip my hothouse even better. For example, this year we improved the heating and cooling systems. This is a big step forward, as mushrooms are very sensitive to temperature, humidity and air accumulated with nitrogen. We received a great response and dozens of people throughout the country began to cultivate mushrooms. People realized that they could build up a business, even with limited capital. We also had meetings with students and pupils in the regions. I am convinced that children should start thinking about entrepreneurship from a young age”, - says young entrepreneur.
In order to further develop and expand her business the young lady farmer has taken part in a project carried out by the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR), the world’s agricultural research for development community working together to transform and strengthen agri-food research and innovation systems. In particular, the project named “YAP” (Youth Agripreneurs Project ) aims to select young agripreneurs from all over the world, and provide a seed fund ,5000 USD grant, to facilitate the startup of their project. During one year, selected young agripreneurs will be mentored within their project, linking them with seasoned researchers and practitioners, by
integrating them in the YPARD (Young Professionals for Agricultural Development) mentoring program. In addition, the participants of the project will undergo training on new ways to advocate and network using innovative communication tools.

“A 5,000$ grant will allow me purchase a pot for substrate preparation, as well as tools and equipment for the water heater. This will allow me to produce large amounts of substrate at the same time, which will reduce production costs and increase productivity. Lastly, it will allow me to sell used sacks of substrate to other producers in my region. In other words, both myself and my neighbours would profit”, - notes the young farmer.

The agripreneurs will be selected through the comments, likes and views their projects accumulate. The deadline of the competition is on March 13, 2016. Support Melano here and help to bring her project to a success and contribute to developing agriculture sector in the country.

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