Boosting Georgia’s Fresh Milk Production

January 7, 2015

Due to Georgia’s strong dairy traditions, its people consume a great deal of cheese, yoghurt, and milk products. But a couple of years ago many Georgian parents were surprised to learn, thanks to new labeling regulations, that many of their children’s favorite milk products were made from milk powder, not fresh milk.


While demand for dairy products increases, fresh milk production has fallen significantly in the past decade. Dairy producers now rely on imported milk powder for about 40 percent of their needs. IFC has stepped in to reverse this trend and help Georgia become self-sufficient by investing in one of its largest dairy farms.


Stop-Winlock’s $2 million loan will help Kvarlis Baga purchase additional facilities and more than triple its daily fresh milk production from three to 10 tons, and make the firm Georgia’s leading fresh milk producer. Meanwhile, Kvarlis’ costs will remain competitive with international suppliers.


“Our dairy farm is equipped with high-standard facilities and management systems that ensure the production of high quality fresh milk,” said Lasha Papashvili, owner of Kvarlis Baga. “After building additional facilities and purchasing new equipment and cattle with Stop-Winlock’s support, we hope to increase our daily milk production significantly. This project will hopefully serve as a model for other agricultural projects in the country.”


Dairy farming in Georgia is dominated by small and inefficient producers with little control over the safety or nutritional value of their milk. The country’s three largest dairy farms, including Kvarlis Baga, represent less than 1 percent of total fresh milk supply.


In cheese production, fresh milk is more efficient and cost effective than milk powder. With a greater supply of fresh milk, khachapuri (cheese pie), a popular national dish in Georgia, will be healthier and tastier.


February 2015