The Georgian Biological Farming Association Elkana is the latest addition to the growing IUCN network in Georgia. Elkana was admitted as an NGO Member at the 72nd Council meeting on 2-4 February, 2009.
Elkana – The Biological Farming Association was established in 1994. In 1996 it became a member of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM). The association brings together farmers from various regions of Georgia and has almost 450 members at present.
Elkana aims to improve the socio-economic conditions of the population of Georgia and the environmental protection through fostering the development of sustainable organic farming and increasing the self-reliance of the rural population. The association has been working successfully for the wide application of organic farming technologies. It supports the organic market in Georgia and value-added organic product enterprises, promotes conservation and sustainable use of agricultural diversity, mobilizes communities in rural areas to develop their capacity for self-help, facilitates cooperation among farmers, and promotes rural tourism development and valorization of local traditional food and wine production and processing. The association also raises public awareness on the importance of organic farming and traditional varieties, and advocates and lobbies organic farmers’ rights.
Elkana, in cooperation with leading donor and partner organizations such as GEF/UNDP, the Mercy Corps, Diakonisches Werk Germany; Oxfam GB, has implemented numerous innovative and interesting projects in Georgia. The SDC-funded Tourism and Rural Development Project (SDC), a project on organic food chain development in Georgia (funded by the Avalon Foundation, Netherlands) are only tow examples of their work. Elkana publishes “Biofarmer” the only magazine produced for farmers in Georgia which focuses on biological farming.