Modernising vocational education and training related to agriculture in Georgia

Project completed
The image shows the VET college student Medea getting hands-on instructions in the Senaki College greenhouse on growing vegetables.
At the Senaki College, teaching staff are better trained and students like Medea get hands-on instruction in growing vegetables in the college greenhouse. © SDC

Georgia’s vocational education and training (VET) system does not correspond to the needs of the transition to a market economy which the government has sought to bring about since the country gained its independence. The SDC is helping the Georgian government to develop a more modern VET system that integrates theory and practice and allows a long-term increase in farm productivity and rural incomes.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Agriculture & food security
Vocational training
Employment & economic development
Agricultural development
Agricultural services & market
Vocational training
Agriculture value-chain development (til 2016)
SME development
01.01.2013 - 31.12.2018
CHF  6’547’000

Agriculture plays a central role in the economic and social development of Georgia, as it is the main source of income for the rural population. Rural communities have not benefited from economic growth in recent years: there is growing inequality and people living in rural areas are considerably poorer than urban residents. Improving vocational training in agriculture is essential, as there is currently a significant gap between farmers’ skills and the skills demanded by the market. The SDC is assisting the Georgian government in its efforts to modernise the public VET system, which will allow an increase in farm productivity and rural incomes in the long term. 

Reducing rural-urban migration

Since gaining its independence in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Georgia has not adapted its VET system to the needs of a market economy. This neglect is felt at several levels. For example, because livestock farmers often lack access to veterinary services and use few inputs (medicines, feed, etc.) animal health is adversely affected. As a result, productivity is low and subsistence farming is more prevalent than market-oriented agricultural practices. Young people are less and less willing to stayin the villages and get increasingly attracted by the prospect of earning a higher income in the capital, Tbilisi. Yet as this documentary film portraying the lives of Medea and Giorgi – two young people determined to take part in the economic life of their home village – makes clear, improved vocational education and training programmes are beginning to offer better prospects in rural areas:

Blog Article - Offering young people in Georgian villages prospects for the future

Developing a high-quality VET system for present and future generations

Thanks to this project, over 4,000 farmers are profiting from the improved (re-)training courses and over 10,000 can access agricultural extension services customised to their needs. The goal is to increase productivity and the income of farms by approximately 10% a year. The expertise of 300 VET teachers, 400 agricultural extension workers and 250 service providers will also be improved. In cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia (MoES) and sectoral associations, the project initiated development and piloting of the work based learning (WBL) approach. The introduction of WBL approach is necessary to stimulate the private sector engagement in vocational education. The project will directly benefit eight public vocational training institutes and seven state information consultancy centres. The remaining institutes will indirectly benefit from the project through the improvement of teaching materials, professional standards and information made available to agricultural extension centres.


Photo gallery - behind the scenes of the documentary: