6th June, 2014
Livestock Transhumance Will no Longer Disturb Tsintskaro Village Population
Livestock transhumance will no longer disturb Tsintskaro Village population in Tetritskaro Municipality. The local Municipal DRR Working Group initiated a new infrastructure project which will solve the problems related to the seasonal transhumance in this particular village.
Transhumance is a major part of livestock system for sheep and to lesser extent cattle in Georgia. Approximately 300,000 animals move twice, up and down on long established routes in spring and early autumn. Livestock seasonal movement in Tsintskaro Village, Tetritskaro municipality has been a biggest, unsolved issue for the village inhabitants and shepherds for the decades. Twice in the year livestock goes through the Village’s main road, obstructing the traffic, causing conflicts and spreading various animal diseases. Despite the fact, that there is an officially registered route remote from the inhabited part of the village, due to the impassability and ravine on this route, shepherds have had to pass the settlement area.
Recently, the local government of the municipality has taken initiative to evade the route from the populated territory and to arrange 4150 meters long alternative, bypass route.
The Tetritskaro Municipal DRR Working Group in coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia, had examined the registered Animal Movement Route in Tsintskaro Village in details and prepared the plan of the route reconstruction and infrastructure arrangement. The project implementation is facilitated by Alliances Lesser Caucasus Programme and coordinated by Tetritskaro DRR Municipal Working Group. As a result of the tender announced the winner organization will be contracted to conduct the route reconstruction from June 2014.
4th April, 2014
A documentary about the Tradition of Transhumance in Georgia
The Road – a beautifully shot documentary capturing the reality and dichotomies of the people who use the ancient transhumance route; the lifeline of livestock in Georgia
The Eco Films LTD film The Road premiered on April 4, 2014 in the assembly hall of Tbilisi State University. The film commissioned by Alliances Kvemo Kartli - a Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency project implemented by Mercy Corps Georgia - depicts the transhumance route from the Kakheti winter pastures to Samtskhe-Javakheti summer highland pastures through Kvemo Kartli region. The documentary shows the traditional cultural context of Georgian sheep farming following one sheep farmer, shepherds and herds along the route it shows the socio-economic importance of this seasonal movement of sheep and its realities and problems within the context of modern Georgia whilst showcasing the diversified nature and beautiful landscape of Georgia.
Creating a film on shepherds’ lives in Georgia is timely as development of agriculture was declared to be the priority of the Georgian Government this year. The film contains important messages for people who are interested to support the growth of sheep farming in Georgia.
“The Georgian regional and central governments are actively involved in regulation of Animal Movement Route’s infrastructure. This film will serve to enhance interest on this issue and I hope the tough life of shepherds, which is shown in the film, will be improved very soon,” – stated the Governor of Kvemo Kartli Region George Mgebrishvili after the premiere.
Almost 200 people attended ‘The Road’ premiere which triggered great interest among people from various fields: film industry, agriculture development, government, educational field and etc.
“The film is very realistic and truthful. I had the feeling that I was there too. It shows all the problems and at the same time is beautiful. We would like to show this film to our students and are also ready to finance our 4th grade students’ study practice in nomadic sheep farming this summer,” – said Teo Urushadze, the Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Natural Sciences of Georgian Agrarian University.
The new documentary was highly appreciated by the audience and Eco Films intend to promote their film, on National and International levels. The screening of The Road is already planned in the Georgian Parliament in Kutaisi initiated and supported by the Head of the Agrarian Committee Mr. Gigla Agulashvili.
31st March, 2014
Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure Memorandum of Understanding SEALS Further Commitment to Gender Mainstreaming
A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure (MRDI) and the Swiss Development Cooperation project the Mercy Corps Georgia implemented, Alliances Lesser Caucasus Programme (ALCP) in Kvemo Kartli, The aim of the memorandum is to support the ongoing outreach at local government level of practical implementation of the 2010 Georgian Gender Equality Law which will greatly aid in the general development of rural Georgian municipalities.
The memorandum seals an agreement for the Alliances Lesser Caucasus Programme to facilitate the MRDI to conduct a First National Gender Conference the primary attendees of which will be forty five municipal gender advisors who were appointed by the Municipalities in October-November 2013. The gender advisors were appointed as a response by the Ministry to ongoing work by Dmanisi, Tetritskaro and Tsalka municipalities on gender mainstreaming which included training for staff and villages representatives and the establishment of Women’s Rooms; resource centers for women located inside the municipality building and funded and staffed by the municipality. Simple guidelines which condense the gender laws and provide practical steps for municipality staff and village representatives on gender mainstreaming and ensuring women’s participation in community meetings are available on the MRDI website. Local Self-Governments and other interested parties will also participate in the conference and ongoing activities by the Ministry will include an information campaign and the development of an information portal on the MRDI website for gender advisors and other key resource points.
11th December, 2013
Dmanisi Municipality sets up the Local Disaster Risk Reduction Mechanism
In 2011 Alliances KK facilitated establishment of DRR Municipal Working Groups in Dmanisi, Tsalka and Tetritskaro municipalities. These groups remain to be the main point for planning and implementing of prevention measures to reduce livestock related disaster risks.
The expert in DRR issues – Temur Melkadze was invited by Dmanisi self-government to conduct the training for the Municipal Working Group and Village Reps on December 11th. The purpose of the meeting was to improve the knowledge of DRR Working Group Members and Village Reps about the following topics:
About 20 participants of the training were provided with appropriate reading materials for gaining more detailed information on above listed topics.
Dmanisi municipality continues working for increasing awareness on DRR related issues and in terms of it the self-government is planning to invite the NFA Representative to lead the training on Animal Disease Control and Quarantine Arrangements for DRR Municipal Working Group.
14th of November
MRDI Encourages Gender Mainstreaming at Local level
A few days ago all Self-Governing cities and municipalities in the country received a recommendation from the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure to appoint an advisor on Gender Equity in each one to support implementation of the Law on Gender Equality 2010 and the action plan.
Two months ago Alliances KK met with the Minister of the MRDI, David Narmania for introducing the Women’s Room, a new municipal service in Dmanisi, Tetritskaro and Tsalka municipalities and Gender Guidelines for Local Self-Government Bodies facilitated by the Programme. He also was informed about necessity to appoint a new staff member by the municipalities for supporting municipal Gender activities.
David Narmania approved idea of a Gender staff at local level and pointed that “the ministry could prepare recommendation for all 65 municipalities countrywide, advising self-governments to have a particular employer who works specifically on Gender issue.”
Alliances KK will continue working with the MRDI to make clear linkages between this initiative and Women’s Rooms, facilitate trainings and information for the new staff members etc. Also this is the great opportunity for the programme to arrange national cross visits for scaling up and replicating the Women’s Rooms and Gender sensitive Village Rep model at a national level.
29th August, 2013
Anthrax cases in Tsalka Municipality
Two cases of Anthrax were identified in Tsalka Municipality during August 2013. According to the NFA representative Jemal Dekanadze, one cow died due to contracting Anthrax in Beshtasheni Village, Tsalka on August 8th. A blood test sent to Tbilisi Veterinary laboratory was confirmed positive for Anthrax. However, as reported by the Local Independent Vet from Tsalka Municipality, about 5 heads of dead cattle with clinical signs of Anthrax that were not laboratory tested were also observed in the local farms of the village.
On August 21th the second case of Anthrax occurred in Tbeti Village, Tsalka. Tbilisi Veterinary laboratory has subsequently confirmed that the animal death was caused by Anthrax. Since the outbreak began the NFA has carried out the vaccination of 1 066 cattle in the village.
As the NFA representative stated, in both cases the infected carcasses were burnt and buried.
14th August, 2013
Anthrax Outbreak in Tetritskaro Municipality
Two cows died and a man has been infected due to contracting Anthrax in Patara Toneti Village, Tetritskaro Municipality. According to the representative of the NFA – Shota Poilarashvili the first cow died on July 17th, although the blood samples for laboratory testing were taken only by July 26th. During ten days the infected carcass had been abandoned in the ravine of the village.
“Arriving in the village I found out that one more cow with clinical signs of Anthrax had been slaughtered and sold by its owner. The anthrax case of human was identified in the same village, however this person did not have any contact with infected carcass. The reason of getting infected is supposed to be old burial sites left without any security measures taken – stated the NFA representative.
After the case was confirmed by laboratory tests as positive for Anthrax on July 31st, following the recommendation of the NFA, Tetritskaro Sakrebulo issued a decree on placing Patara Toneti Village under quarantine for two weeks, and conducting appropriate eliminative-quarantine arrangements as well.
According to the NFA representative, the infected carcass was burnt with vehicle wheels and the waste was buried. Yet, the Burial-ground was not enclosed and special marks were not placed either.
“As the infected carcasses are not cremated in Georgia, the disease spore stays active for years, creating the new sites of infection. This kind of burial-grounds is a huge danger for the population if they are not properly protected” – stated Amiran Kochalidze, Veterinarian, the President of International Association of Agriculture Development.
Gender Integration Moves One Step Further
9th August, 2013
Following on from the meeting with Shorena Bziava on May 21st in Kutaisi, Alliances KK met with Davit Narmania, the Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia. The main purpose of the meeting was introducing the Minister with Women’s Room, a new municipal service in Dmanisi, Tetritskaro and Tsalka municipalities, facilitated by the Alliances KK programme. Mr. David was informed about the main idea of WR and the services offered there. The information about the activities, the events carried out and the number of visitors since the establishment of WRs – were also overviewed. GENDER GUIDELINS for VILLAGE REPS with flyers of Women’s Room and Newsletter were presented and discussed.
Davit Narmania is the only minister from nineteen who has an advisor on Gender issues in ministry’s staff, so he had shown the great interest in supporting the Women’s Rooms for scaling up this new municipal service to the national level.
Davit Narmania: “Based on an official letter on behalf of your programme the ministry could be prepare recommendation for all 65 municipalities countrywide, advising self-governments to have a particular employer who works specifically on Gender issue.”
At this time the Ministry works on a new law on Self-Government. Mr. Davit Narmania also expressed his readiness to consider a new amendment in this draft law which will indicate the linkage with the Law on Gender Equality 2010. Consequently having a specific stuff member on Gender issues will be guaranteed not only by MRDI’s recommendations, but regulated by the law.
In September, Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia David Narmania and Alliances KK Programme Director Helen Bradbury will meet to discuss further steps of cooperation.
31st May, 2013
New Anthrax Outbreaks of the Year 2013 in Dmanisi Municipality
Two cows died due to contracting Anthrax in Useinkendi, Karabulakhi Community, Dmanisi municipality on 13th May 2013. As the deputy of Gamgebeli Dato Petviashvili stated, a blood sample was taken from only one dead cattle and Tbilisi Veterinary Laboratory has subsequently confirmed the animal death was caused by Anthrax. The local government put Karabulakhi under quarantine for two weeks. The NFA commenced mandatory vaccination in the village and approximately 250 heads of livestock were vaccinated.
On May 16th two cases of Anthrax have been also observed in Zemo Orozmani Village, however only one blood sample was tested and confirmed in the laboratory. Quarantine was imposed on the Village for two weeks. The NFA Representative confirmed that the infected carcasses were not burnt but disinfected and buried, and appropriate marks are assigned to the burial ground. The NFA has carried out the vaccination of 1900 cattle in the community villages.
Photo: Burial Place in Zemo Orozmani
provided by Dmanisi DRR WG on 29th of May, 2013.
No Burial Signs placed on the Burial ground.
21st May, 2013
Meeting at Georgian Parliament on Gender
On 21st of May a meeting was held with Shorena Bziava, Gender Equality Council secretary at Georgian Parliament in Kutaisi. Alliances KK representatives introduced the programme Gender activities - a new municipal service Women’s Room and Guidelines for the Village Reps.
“I’m very impressed. I think the Women’s Room is a good idea. At this time the Ministry of Regional Development is working on the draft law for the local self-government arrangements and they need to put there some Gender issues too, so the council will recommend the Ministry to consider Women’s Room idea. We’ve seen a lot papers and a little work done on Gender equality issues in Georgia but the Alliances KK initiative is different, this is already being implemented by local municipalities and the council will support it.” – Mrs. Bziava,
As a result of this meeting, 12 members of the Gender Equality Council, vice-speaker of the Parliament Manana Kobakhidze and an advisor on Gender issues of the Prime-Minister of Georgia Tamar Chugoshvili will receive information about Alliances KK initiatives – the Women’s Room and Gender Guidelines.
11th May, 2013
New Documentary on Shepherds of Kvemo Kartli
Mercy Corps, Alliances KK has contracted “Eco Films” a Georgian independent wildlife film company to create a documentary about shepherds of Kvemo Kartli region. In the film “Two Week to Reach the Clouds” the process of animal movement from winter pastures in Kakheti to summer pastures in Kvemo Kartli will be depicted following a herder family during two-week-long trip from the lowlands to the highlands. The aim of the documentary is to show the cultural-traditional context of Georgian sheep farming based on the example of one sheep farmer family and its herd. The film will also show social as well as economic importance of the sheep migration and associated problems within the context of Georgia’s diversified nature and landscape.
Shooting started in May 11th after preparing the plotline and choosing the sheep farmers who will be the main characters in the documentary. The final version of it will be available by the end of the year (2013).
Sheep farming is the oldest branch of Georgia’s agriculture. According to official statistics there are almost 600 thousand sheep in the country. Georgian herdsmen lead a nomadic life covering hundreds of kilometers with their herd when moving from winter pastures of Kakheti and Kvemo Kartli to summer pastures of Samtskhe-Javakheti, Kvemo Kartli, Mtskheta-Mtianeti and Kakheti highlands. The herdsmen spend approximately two weeks with their herds in moving alone the routes.
The current year appears to be a fruitful for sheep-farming, the Feasibility Study of Animal Movement Route funded by the MOA is under development. Wool collection with export in Turkey has commenced in Kvemo Kartli and Kakheti. Work is ongoing to develop the Shepherd Association.
5th April, 2013
The Forth Advisory Committee and New Initiatives
The Feasibility Study for the Animal Movement Rout and animal disease notification and control, two key topics were discussed on the 4th advisory committee on the 29th of March. At the beginning of the meeting the Alliances KK Programme Director Ms. Helen Bradbury provided a brief presentation concerning the interventions of the programme.
Rati Mekvabishvili – the representative of the Ministry of Agriculture provided the latest updates on the Feasibility Study of The Animal Movement Route. As Mr Rati announced they are planning to hold a presentation on the conducted study and all interested stakeholders are welcome to attend it by the end of April. The Alliances KK Programme Director suggested the MOA arranging not just a presentation, but a participatory workshop, where stakeholders will have opportunity to voice their views and provide information for input into the feasibility study.
One of the main topics at the committee meeting was animal disease control issue; the newly appointed Head of the NFA Regional Division Mirangula Liparteliani presented latest activities of the NFA in this direction.
‘The NFA has launched the brucellosis program that aims to estimate and study general situation for the disease. After one week, Anthrax vaccinations will commence in sites of historical outbreaks under the state program of the free vaccination. In the nearest future, in each municipality minimum one slaughterhouse will be operated. Process has already started, for instance recently a new slaughterhouse was opened in Tsalka municipality. Currently the NFA is starting organizing community level vet offices.’-said Mr Mirandula Liparteliani.
The committee will continue to be a forum for the discussions facilitating interaction and information exchange between relevant national, regional and local stakeholders form the public and private sectors.
1st April, 2013
Gender Guidelines for Village Reps
These Guidelines for the Application and Implementation of the Law on Gender Equality of Georgia by Local Self Government Bodies was developed with members of the Local Self Governments of Dmanisi, Tsalka and Tetritskaro municipalities in line with an initiative supported by the Regional Government of Kvemo Kartli.
The concise and practical guideline contains a code of conduct and guiding principles, village meeting’s check list for village reps and recommendations for Local Governments how to overcome existing problems and integrate a Gender Equality Low at local government levels.
link for downloading
7th February, 2013
Anthrax Outbreak in Tsalka Municipality
Four cows died due to contracting Anthrax in Tbeti Village, Tsalka last week. As the NFA representative in Tsalka Municipality - Jemal Dekanadze stated, all four cases were confirmed by laboratory tests confirming positive for Anthrax. The infected carcasses were burnt and buried. The burial sites have been appropriately marked. Yesterday, quarantine was imposed on Tbeti Village by the local municipal government. Today, the NFA commences mandatory vaccination in the village and approximately 1 000 heads of livestock will be vaccinated.
Till the above mentioned case occurred, the last outbreak of Anthrax in Tsalka Municipality occurred on 16th July, 2012.
28th December, 2012
$ 1 Billion Fund Priority
The basic priority of the $1 billion fund for Agriculture will in the first stage be the promised spring support programme for those who have not yet processed their lands due to poverty. On the top of this the establishment of 60 new enterprises all over the country are to be funded from the aforementioned foundation' – the Minister of Agriculture stated.
According to the minister the proposed system created will not cause distortion or disruption in the market: micro financial system and banks will get involved in the programme. The foundation will cooperate with them in order to achieve good results. A basic priority is arrangement of infrastructure and the rehabilitation of irrigation and drainage systems.
‘According to the latest data only 24, 000 ha of lands in Georgia were irrigated however owing to the new plan 300, 000 ha of land will become available. Funds will be allocated by the State Budget and the World Bank’ – Mr. Kirvalidze stated. In addition the, International Foundation for Rural Development has allocated $10 million and the Dutch Government intends to allocate €60 million grant for irrigation.
20th December, 2012
American Government to Invest $50 Million in Rural Projects
The Minister of Agriculture Mr. Davit Kirvalidze summarized his visit to the USA and the State Department, Department of Agriculture and the World Bank from 11th to 15th of December. According to the Minister the US Government supports the Georgian government’s new vision for agricultural development and is willing to get involved in rural projects. The American government plans to invest $50 million over the next 4 years in these projects. The minister stated that they have reviewed issues concerning the importance of the rehabilitation of the irrigation infrastructure and the establishment of Regional Water Consumers’ Associations.
17th December, 2012
Programmes are Targeted on Farmers
According to the Minister of Agriculture of Georgia next year’s agriculture budget will increase by 61.8%. The Minister stated that a new strategy of rural politics considers the interests of both customers and the employees of processing industry.
‘Processes such as the importing of new farm machinery and equipment, the establishment of training centers for rural machinery operator , the establishment of new foundations for Agricultural Development, the establishment of 60 new enterprises and the development and implementation of irrigation and drainage systems rehabilitation programme will take place. A new legislative initiative aims at supporting cooperative farming; Food Safety; tax relief for those involved in primary agricultural production and processing industries; reestablishing ties to the Russian Market and the establishment of Municipal Information/Consultation Centers’ – the Minister stated.
12th November, 2012
Trouble in Tetritskaro
This morning (Monday, November 12th 2012), approximately 40 local activists of the Georgian Dream coalition party started picketing around the building of the Gamgeoba in Tetritskaro municipality, preventing the administrative officials from entering their office.
Last Friday at 3:00 pm, the Georgian Dream activists had demanded that administrative officials leave the workplace in one hour. In order to avoid an escalation of the situation they acquiesced to the demand and the officials left the building.
The protesters are still demanding the resignation of the regional governor of Tetritskaro and the Head of the Sakrebulo, as well as the resignation of Village Reps. 40 protesters are still rallying near the local Gamgeoba.
30th October, 2012
Anthrax Outbreaks in Dmanisi Municipality
11 cows died due to contracting Anthrax in Salamaleiki Village, Dmanisi a week ago. The Dmanisi regional branch of the NFA told an Alliances KK representative that blood samples were taken from all dead cows and Tbilisi Veterinary Laboratory has subsequently confirmed that the animal deaths were caused by Anthrax. The local government put Salamaleiki Village under quarantine for 15 days. Since the outbreaks began the NFA has carried out the vaccination of 120 cattle in the village.
On September 1st Anthrax vaccinations commenced concentrated in sites of historical outbreaks under the state program of the free vaccination. 400 cattle in Dmanisi have already been vaccinated. Salamaleiki Village is a new site of outbreaks.
5th October, 2012
The State programme for the National FMD Vaccination of Cattle for FMD and Anthrax is close to completion.
20,716 in Dmanisi municipality, 32,950 in Tsalka municipality and 15,500 heads of cattle in Tetritskaro municipality have been vaccinated against Foot and Mouth Disease. Representatives from the Tetritskaro, Tsalka and Dmanisi regional branches of the National Food Agency told the programme that the remaining 4,329 unvaccinated cattle remaining in the three municipalities will be vaccinated over the course of the next month.
On September 1st Anthrax vaccinations commenced concentrated in sites of historical outbreaks.. 400 cattle in Dmanisi, 800 in Tsalka, and 1200 cattle in Tetritskaro have already been vaccinated. 3700 cattle will be vaccinated in the next few weeks.
Georgia’s Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili initiated the state program of the free vaccination of cattle in July. The Prime Minister then stated that the vaccination will be carried out regularly for the next three years. All local independent vets and NFA representatives in Georgia are being provided with equipment to carry out the vaccination and the tagging.. The registration of cattle also commenced with cattle receiving ear tags at the time of vaccination. Allainces KK has worked in conjunction with the NFA to support the campaign and ensure that information concerning the campaign reached the target audience by printing and facilitating the distribution of 25000brochures in the three municipalities and translating the brochure into Russian for Armenian and Azeri minorities.
27th September, 2012
New Research Paper on the Informal Economy from Alliances KK
Helen Bradbury and Nona Samkharadze from Alliances have just released their research on the informal economy in the Alliances Kvemo Kartli programme area. Beyond Statistics: The Informal Economy in Rural Georgia
‘This research helps us to understand how poor rural women and men live, work and survive within the market economy, non cash or otherwise, in our programme area and to improve our programme delivery and results measurement accordingly.’ Said Programme Director Helen Bradbury
The study which was based on extensive qualitative research with key informants both farmers and service providers from across the programme area, shows the extent and importance of the non cash economy in the programme area and gives important insights into the market strategies employed by both farmers and service providers to maintain their livelihoods where cash is scarce. The study includes an exploration of the dynamics surrounding the use of various different goods and produce such as cheese, for barter exchange or in return for services such as ploughing. As one respondent said ‘ Our cheese is our wealth and with it we can buy anything’.
26th September, 2012
Hay Deficit in the Kvemo Kartli Region
An agro specialist told the programme, that the hay’s price is the highest price it has been for more than 30 years.
This time last year hay was 3 Gel/bale now it is 7 Gel/bale. The problem started with dry weather in March and April this year. Yields were decreased from 150/ha last year to 50/ha this year.
Changes in land use may have also affected farmers. Land to which they previously had access is sometimes now being sold to private land owners after which access is denied.
27th July, 2012
The Joint Initiatives at the Third Alliances KK Advisory Committee Meeting
The topics arising from the Anthrax Outbreaks in the Kvemo Kartli Region and facilitating of a new municipal Service ‘Women’s Room’ were discussed at the third Advisory Committee Meeting in Rustavi. Ms. Rusudan Kervalishvili, the Vice Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia, who is also the Head of the Parliamentary Committee of the Gender Equity, attended the meeting and voiced her support to the initiative:
‘It is noteworthy, that the Rooms are planned to be made for women, which could be considered as positive discrimination against men, however in our reality it is quite acceptable. I like the idea very much and I believe that in case of its successful implementation it will turn it into an exemplary model as for Georgia as well as for other countries. I will personally take care of presenting this issue at the EU level’ said Rusudan Kervalishvili.
The Advisory Committee meeting participants discussed the Anthrax Outbreaks in the Kvemo Kartli Region and the planned national programme of the free vaccination with a representative of the National Food Agency. The NFA has as a consequence contacted Alliances KK directly to request assistance for support in community awareness raising for the prevention of various infectious diseases that threaten the economy of the livestock sector.
25th July, 2012
A New State Program of the Free Vaccination in Georgia
Georgia’s Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili initiated a state program of the free vaccination of cattle. From August 1st Foot and Mouth Vaccination and from September 1st Anthrax Vaccination will be carried out in 3000 villages in 53 municipalities in Georgia. 950 000 of doses of the French Foot and Mouth Vaccines from Italy and 180 000 of doses of Anthrax Vaccines from Ukraine and Romania will be bought by the state in this week. 250 mobile groups have been established to carry out the vaccination.
Georgia’s Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili said Thar the vaccination will be carried out regularly for the next three years. Currently all the Local Independent vets in Georgia are being provided with equipment. Also, the state will begin tagging of the cattle.
Source: ‘The Imedi’ channel.
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