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Why roads are more important than agriculture

By Messenger Staff
Monday, February 2
Pro-opposition economic analyst Niko Orvelashvili states that the current Georgian authorities have not correctly ordered their priorities. As proof he quotes the projected expenditure of the 2009 state budget, which identifies road infrastructure as a priority issue for the county’s development rather than the agricultural sector. He agrees that the development of road infrastructure eventually assists economic growth but thinks that the development of agriculture would have been much a more appropriate priority.

Half of the Georgian population lives in rural regions and they are practically unemployed. Agricultural work unfortunately has lost its importance. “One of the biggest resources of the Georgian economy however is the agrarian sector,” suggests Orvelashvili.

Orvelashivli explains why Saakashvili chose road construction as the priority. If the Government had started assisting the agricultural sector with its primary funds the money allocated for this would have been used up, but Orvelashivli alleges that at least 40% of the money allotted for road infrastructure improvements has or will be redirected into the election campaign funds of Saakashvili’s party. Orvelashivli suggests that those who are skeptical about this should look into the tenders declared by the Highways Department.