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Agricultural imports increase

By Messenger Staff
Monday, July 6

In 2008 Georgia imported USD 920 million of agricultural products. The year before this figure was USD 782 million. A general tendency to import more agricultural products is clear.

Experts believe this tendency is not beneficial for the country. Economist Paata Koguashvili thinks that officials are not interested in developing the agrarian sector and exports as this would require serious investment and it might take a couple of years to see results, whereas increasing imports needs less investment and the results are visible immediately. Increasing imports increases budget income and customs duties and brings other immediate benefits. Agricultural production in Georgia is costly and requires serious state support, as the lack of machinery, irrigation, infrastructure, small processing factories, fertilisers and other details can only be addressed through extra effort on behalf of the state.

As importing food products is much easier to do, much agricultural land is not cultivated and farmers cannot afford to do it at their own expense. Credits are difficult to obtain, and some villages have been abandoned by their populations, leaving only the aged there. SOS!