TAU SA’s Georgia tour

Quite some time has elapsed since TAU SA first established contact with Georgia and was asked to help the country restore its agriculture, which had suffered after the dissolution of the USSR.

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About 80 000ha of state land was also made available to investors and, since then, a lot has been learnt – about the challenges as well as the opportunities. And the challenges are great – especially when it comes to dealing with the language gap. Then there’s the fact that Georgia has its own customs and laws. Things are just done differently in this country bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and to the south-east by Azerbaijan.

Having said this, TAU SA believes numerous opportunities await SA farmers there. As those who join the union on its forthcoming Georgia tour will discover.

When: The TAU SA Agro-Tour to Georgia will take place between Monday, 29 October, and Friday, 2 November, 2012. It will include visits to relevant government agencies to gain an understanding of their regulations and to South Africans already farming in Georgia. Farms for sale will also be visited to give participants an overview of the investment opportunities available in the country.

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The TAU SA Flight: Harvey World Travel in Montana, Pretoria, has arranged return tickets on Emirates from Johannesburg to Tiblisi, via Dubai. The flight details are as follows:

EK 762: 26 Oct Johannesburg to Dubai 1410 #0010
FZ 713: 27 Oct Dubai to Tbilisi 0225 #0545
FZ 714: 03 Nov Tbilisi to Dubai 0635 #1000
EK 765: 03 Nov Dubai to Johannesburg 1440 #2050

Cost per person is R5 976.

(Other airlines fly to Tbilisi, but none directly from SA.)

Other options: You are free to make your own flight arrangements. But you must ensure you book into the hotel by the evening of 28 October and spend the night of 2 November there as well. (Using the same hotel will simplify the logistics involved. Bookings will be handled by TAU SA.)

Those who wish to spend time in Georgia prior to the start of the tour or to stay on afterwards will have to make their own arrangement for these periods. This must please be noted on the application form. TAU SA recommends those wishing to make their own arrangements, as regards flights and staying on in Georgia, or arriving earlier, contact Yzelle Stone of Harvey World Travel. Her contact details are: 012 548 0064, 083 698 7774, or [email protected].

Confirmation: A booking will only be confirmed once the price of the flight ticket and TAU SA’s administrative charge of R1 000/person are paid.

Other costs: You’ll be responsible for all other costs. The hotel costs about US$100/night and includes breakfast. Travel costs for a bus that carries 15 people will be US$350/day, depending on destination. This will be shared by the tour members.

Forex: Please note the rand can’t be exchanged for local currency in Georgia; the US dollar and euro can, though. However, as in other foreign countries, you can draw local currency from an ATM using your SA credit card, as long as you’ve made arrangements with your bank beforehand.

A possibility: A possibility under consideration is travelling to Batumi as well. This will mean making the seven-hour trip on the Saturday we land in Georgia, either by bus or train. The latter costs about R125/person. The cost of using buses still has to be determined. It’s understood that people might be worn out after the flight and the trip to Batumi can be relatively tiring. On the other hand, deciding not to go means missing a large part of western Georgia. Those going on the tour will be contacted to see what they think.

Sign on: If you’re interested in joining the tour please fill in the form below and send it to TAU SA’s Bennie van Zyl at [email protected] and [email protected] as soon as possible. The closing date is 14 September 2012.

Those have joined the tour will be contacted regarding the accommodation arrangements and a more detailed itinerary.

[PLEASE NOTE: Farmer’s Weekly suggests you copy and paste the following fields into an email, provide the required information and then send to the two addresses.]

Applications for Agro-Tours in Georgia
29 October to 2 November, 2012

CONTACT NUMBERS (email, tel, cell):
(Bookings for hotels will automatically be made from 28 October to 2 November. The formal tour will start early on 29 October and will finish on 2 November.)
Bookings we should make on your behalf in hotels other than the above mentioned (state the specific dates):
TYPE OF ROOM NEEDED (single, sharing or double):
REMARKS (if any):

Please fill in a form for each person joining the tour (family members, etc) and send to [email protected] and [email protected].

(Based on information provided by TAU SA.)