Georgia importing agricultural products
By Messenger Staff
Friday, September 11Since imported agricultural products are not taxed by Georgian customs the Georgian agricultural sector is facing more and more problems and imported production is suppressing local produce. In 2008 Georgia imported almost USD 1 billion worth of agricultural products and exported around USD 250 million. Therefore the import-export balance in food is negative.
Locally-grown vegetables satisfy 60% of domestic demand and 75-80% of the fruit consumed in Georgia is grown within the country. Georgian tea supplies only 5% of local demand and meat products 47%. In 2007 Georgia produced 75,000 tonnes of wheat, in 2008 only 54.6. In 2007 Georgia produced 229,000 tonnes potatoes, in 2008 only 181,000.
Georgian farmers need very serious, consistent, regular and thoughtful support. They face problems with finance, technology, fuel and so on. Unless these issues are addressed life in the rural areas will further deteriorate.