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Food security in the South Caucasus

Eka Sherozia with one of the 5 cows she now owns (Credit: Caroline Berger/Oxfam)

At a glance

Improving regional food security through national strategies and smallholder production in the South Caucasus.


This programme ran from 2013-2017. While Oxfam no longer works in Georgia or Armenia, local organisations OxYGen (Armenia) and BRIDGE (Georgia) are continuing the work and building the networks set up by this programme.  

The majority of people going hungry in the world today live in rural areas, yet they are also relied on to feed the world. Agriculture remains the prime source of livelihoods in rural areas of Georgia and Armenia - with people working as farmers, labourers on larger farms, or in food processing and allied industries. Women form more than half of the agricultural workforce and are often in jobs that are the lowest paid or unpaid altogether. 

This five year programme aimed to improve food security and nutrition in Armenia and Georgia. By working with civil society networks and alliances, we ensured that the five-year national agricultural, food security and nutritional policies developed in each country benefited smallholder farmers. Additionally, the programme aimed to positively change attitudes and increase the demand for healthy and locally produced food. 

Our approach

The programme identified the following three areas as the main problems relating to people's food security in Armenia and Georgia:

  • Low level of food production (availability)
  • High price of food and lack of affordability of nutritious food (access) 
  • High level of poor health outcomes due to non-diversified food consumption (utilization) 

The main causes of the problems were seen to be the lack of effective policies to address food insecurity, as well as low awareness among policy makers and the general public of the importance of food security and its long-term impact on people's health. The programme implemented the following strategies:

  • Contribute to the design and implementation of effective, gender-sensitive food security and nutrition strategies
  • Enact food security and nutrition legislation to support local food production and consumption
  • Increase representation of civil society through strategy/policy decision-making processes

Working through partnerships

GAARD in Georgia and the Agriculture Alliance in Armenia are both networks with broad constituencies, capable of generating widespread public interest. Their member organizations represent farmers, gender-focused NGOs, youth, the private sector and various other constituencies.