USAID’s REAP Offers Mariam Kutelia Internship Program

USAID’s Restoring Efficiency to Agriculture Production (REAP) is offering an innovation for Georgian youngsters interested in the sphere of agriculture. The US-funded organization has recently launched a substantive internship program, named the Mariam Kutelia Intern Program.

The organization invites applications for intern positions every six months, where students from different universities are given the opportunity to work in various fields that support REAP’s implementation, including administration and finance, monitoring and evaluation, environment, and access to finance and technical assistance.

In addition to the internship, for each incoming group, REAP offers one competitive research grant to address constraints faced in Georgia’s agriculture sector. REAP says all selected interns are eligible for the grant and application is voluntary, with one applicant selected for funding. The application selected will be the best research idea and proposal submitted as judged by REAP management.

Goals of the grant include providing the recipient with management and decision-making experience and with financial responsibility. Thus, the grant will be managed in all aspects by the recipient with the availability of advice and counselling from REAP management and the university advisor.

“Agriculture is changing, and with it, a revised set of skills is needed to address new challenges and stimulate its development,” says the REAP team, considering young qualified specialists as key drivers in these processes.

This month REAP has awarded diplomas for the successful completion of the program to the previous team of motivated Georgian interns. The 6-month internship united 34 students from 11 universities in REAP’s Tbilisi, Telavi, and Kutaisi offices. The interns had been involved in a variety of REAP program areas. They had the chance to directly interact with businesses and act as consultants under the close mentorship of REAP specialists.

“I had the pleasure of working at USAID project REAP for the past six months. The program for me meant being active, having interesting tasks, and interacting with professionals” says Mariam Mtsituridze, a former REAP intern.

Alexander Charkviani, who has contributed to the REAP program as a young professional, believes his internship at CNFA was a life changing experience. “This is an ideal opportunity to start a career because of professional co-workers, who are always ready to give you an advice and instruct you as they are interested in developing young professionals.”

The USAID-supported REAP program is an integrated enterprise development designed to increase incomes and the rural employment by launching successful agribusinesses and promoting increased investment in Georgia’s agriculture sector.

Zviad Adzinbaia

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