A media seminar entitled the Future of the Georgian Agricultural industry was held by the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) at the Ambassador Kachreti hotel on July 17.
Media seminar: The Future of Georgia’s Agricultural industry
By Tatia Megeneishvili
Monday, July 21
The event was attended by 19 journalists from different media outlets. They were provided with information about ENPARD’s work in the field of cooperative system development.
Agriculture Task Manager from the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia Juan-Jose Echanove, told journalists that the seminar’s aim is to help spread information among the population.
“You know, peasants who have seen cooperatives during the Soviet Union are thinking that the idea is the same. We are working on our own to give them information and change their view on the subject, but we need help from local media sources. Georgia had a very well-developed agricultural sector, but then this country had a whole 20 years of collapse and now the systems need reconstruction,” Echanove said.
Minister of Agriculture Pipia said that the ministry is also working on different projects which will help people to sell the products on foreign markets in the future.
“Every single market is important. People should have a choice where to sell their product. The cooperative system is a very nice idea and ENPARD is doing a huge job. People are finally learning how they must work. Education is very important in every field and of course agriculture is based on knowledge as well,” Pipia stated.
Former minister of Agriculture Kirvalidze said that in Georgia 50-55% of the population works in the agricultural field. However, their input in state budget is only 10%.
“People must look at agriculture as a business. For example, in the Netherlands only 3.5% of population works in the agricultural field, but input in budget is also 10%. The reason for this is that people in villages just have no other choice to work in other places, that’s why it’s important to develop a village system, so people can do whatever they want to do,” Kirvalidze stated.
“There is no magic formula to fix all the problems, but people are working, we are working, and a little progress has already been achieved. We will not stop helping people with everything we can do,” Echanove stated.