Problems in agriculture
By Messenger Staff
Friday, November 6The Georgian leadership does not pay sufficient attention to the development of agriculture and most of the grants received from international organisations are being invested in the development of the road infrastructure. Analysts point out that for the last three years Georgia has received only one significant agricultural grant, the Japanese one of GEL 22 million in 2006 which was for purchasing agricultural machinery.
Of the entire Georgian population the rural segment is the poorest. There is a more or less satisfactory social situation in places where there is a tourist infrastructure, but overall the situation in Georgian villages is disastrous. Time limited projects and irregular assistance programmes grant them only temporarily relief. Sad though it is to admit, the generally accepted idea that Georgian agriculture can compete in the market independently is wrong. Without serious state support and assistance this will be difficult, if not impossible. Price maintenance, regulatory mechanisms, assistance with technology, machinery and other means are absolutely necessary for Georgian agriculture.
We must remember that the Georgian population is not so large. The country has fertile land and people ready to work, but agriculture is a vulnerable segment of the economy, very much dependent on the elements. Natural disasters, drought, rain, hail, floods, landslides and suchlike have prevented farmers from producing a normal crop on many occasions. The general lack of professional knowledge of marketing and other economic tools in rural areas creates extra obstacles, so here the state should provide thoughtful and deep assistance. If this assistance is given Georgia will be able to partially, if not fully, satisfy the domestic demand for agricultural products.
It is known that one of the challenges the world faces is a crisis in food production. 40 years from now the world’s population will reach over 9 billion, so the production of agricultural goods must therefore increase by 70% to meet the demand for foodstuffs. Tiny Georgia is part of the world and this problem should not be ignored.