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Agricultural programme to be expanded

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, October 6
The Georgian Government has decided to increase the amount it devotes to its Agricultural Assistance Programme in 2010. The present sums might doubled or even tripled. While in 2009 every village received GEL 10,000, in 2010 they will receive GEL 20-25,000 and it will be possible for each village to undertake numerous different projects.

Economic analysts think that the Agricultural Assistance Programme is one of the best so far designed by the Georgian Government, as it seeks to promote self-governance. State money is administered by the local population themselves, who will not only participate in project implementation but also decision-making. So far the project of assisting the rural population has been implemented in 3,487 villages and the priorities have been identified by local people through consultation.

Within the programme 4,668 projects have been implemented, including those for improving drinking water and irrigation water supplies, rehabilitation of village roads, building sports facilities and so on. Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure Davit Tkeshelashvili has stated that in 2009 GEL 630 million has been spent on the rehabilitation of roads, GEL 185 million on the renovation of drinking water systems, GEL 54 million on the rehabilitation of the sewerage system, GEL 18 million on irrigation systems and GEL 109 million on the rehabilitation of schools in the villages.

The Christian Democrats have stated that the drinking water supply situation is acute in the Adjara region. On their initiative an extra 80 million GEL has been allotted for villages in 2010. This programme, if successful, can have the added benefit of creating the grounds for harmonious cooperation between the ruling party and the opposition.