Saakashvili agriculture plea dismissed by opposition as 'PR stunt'
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, January 21Georgia should increase its number of agricultural products, taking the increase of prices on the world market into consideration- President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili stated on January 20. As he has mentioned, people should be devotedly engaged with agricultural activities.
“The most important thing for us is to be prepared against the increasing prices in the world. We should increase the number of agricultural products, that is why we brought new seeds and breeds in the country, which would be productive due to our natural means, “ Saakashvili stated and mentioned “ that there are a lot of people still, who are wasting time for nothing and those people should be maximally engaged with agricultural activities.”
Certain oppositional forces think that the authorities’ actions and statements concerning the agricultural development in the country is merely a PR stunt. One of the leaders of the Labour Party, Nestan Kirtadze told The Messenger, the party has suggested several times to the authority to adopt a law on fixing prices on everyday items, however the request had always been ignored.
“When, according to UN research there are more than 1.8 million extremely poor families in the country; when unemployment remains Georgia's biggest issue, when there are so many refugees in the country, whose rights are being violated, the government refuses to adopt a law on fixing prices on everyday products, threatening its people with starvation. If we adopted this law, money will be allocated from the state budget and prices will be fixed on four everyday products, namely bread, sugar, oil and buckwheat. Everything the present authority is doing now is a PR stunt. Nothing will come of it until they pay attention to the basic problems in the country and react accordingly,” Kirtadze said.
According to economic analyst, Nodar Khaduri, increasing prices on products is an international problem at this time and Georgia is unprepared and weak against the problem, “Due to the lack of food products there is a really uneasy situation in the world. Georgia is unprepared for the problem. In order to have agricultural products, agriculture should be developed in the country. Unfortunately, significant parts of our agricultural lands are not cultivated and agricultural techniques are old fashioned. Sadly, the authorities have no mechanism to stop the increase of prices on products.” At the same time, the analyst mentioned the importance of a food security doctrine in the country, “Many analysts, economists and agronomists are talking about the food security doctrine and its importance in the country. A developed food security doctrine should exist in the country as it is no less important than the energy or economic security of the country.“
As Analyst Gia Khukhashvili stated for The Messenger, “Systemic changes are needed in agriculture, our authorities should realize that turning an issue into a PR stunt is inadequate.”