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Grain harvest problems

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, November 5
The Georgian grain harvest continues to come nowhere near meeting consumer demand. In 2009 there has not been much rain, and hot weather has destroyed the grain crop in Kakheti. It had been intended to harvest up to 250,000 tonnes of grain, but in fact the crop was 100,000 tonnes.

There has been a consistent pattern of agricultural production decline in Georgia. Economic analyst Paata Koghuashvili has stated that in 2003 Georgia produced around 225,000 tonnes of grain. As the country consumes 850,000 tonnes annually, only up to quarter of its demand can be satisfied by locally-grown grain.

Today the situation has deteriorated even further and the country can satisfy only around 10% of demand. Koghuashvili thinks that Georgia is among the countries which will face agrarian crisis, alongside some very poor African countries, North Korea, Mongolia, Tajikistan and so on, and this is unacceptable as Georgia has very favourable climactic conditions for producing agricultural goods.

The Government thinks there is no problem if the country imports 70% or 80% of its grain. The major concern is price. If the price of imported grain is low, think the authorities, there is no problem to address.