Saakashvili seeks to increase Georgia’s agricultural potential
By Messenger Staff
Friday, March 16Approximately 53% of the Georgian population lives in rural regions. Out of this, some 40% earn their living from agricultural activities. However, the input of these activities into the Georgian economy is very small.
According to the National Statistics Office, the total GDP share of agriculture in Georgia is a mere 8%, which satisfies only 12% of the demand for agricultural products in the country.
Recently, the Georgian government has declared the agricultural sector an economic priority. In his annual report to Parliament, President Mikheil Saakashvili promised that by 2015 agricultural production would double, with a potential 35% increase this year alone. Saakashvili also said the government will invest in 150 new tractors and 400 other agriculture machines.
The Economic Policy Research Centre estimates that the sector needs at least $160 million USD to revive Georgian agriculture and make it profitable and sustainable. So far, the government has allotted 80 million GEL, up from 20 million GEL.