By Messenger Staff
Thursday, August 13More than half of those employed in Georgia are so called ‘self-employed’, and most of these people are self-employed in the agricultural sector. Unfortunately, during the 6 years since the Rose Revolution the agriculture situation here has deteriorated dramatically. The agricultural production figures produced by the Department of Statistics of the Ministry of Economy for 2003-2007 demonstrate this, and those for 2008, which are not yet available, are unlikely to be any better.
Between 2003 and 2007 the amount of agricultural land being cultivated has shrunk from 562,000 hectares to 257,000 hectares. This land is used to grow wheat, corn, beans, sunflowers, potatoes and so on, therefore there has been a consequent serious decrease in agricultural production. The same tendency is observed in breeding. The number of cattle has decreased from 1,243,000 t to 1,048,000 since 2003, while the number of pigs has decreased from 254,000 to 150,000. Poultry numbers have reduced from 9 million to 6 million. Accordingly the production of beef, pork and milk has also gone down.
Meanwhile imports of many of the agricultural goods produced in Georgia have increased. The foreign trade balance has also therefore deteriorated. All these factors create the need for a very serious reshuffle of the country’s agricultural policy.