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Candidate for the Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Levan Davitashvili delivers a speech in the Parliament of Georgia

At the joint sitting of the five parliamentary committee, the key directions that facilitate the development of the agricultural sector has been brought forward by the candidate for the Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Levan Davitashvili.

Activities undertaken to promote market diversification have significantly contributed to the overall export growth

Market diversification has generated a positive impact on the overall export performance. According to the 2017 data, Georgia exported 777 million US dollars worth of agro products, which is 12% higher than the export figure in 2016 and 52.2% more than the same figure given in 2012. According to the forecasts of the Ministry, this figure ($ 777 million) will reach the billion by the end of this year.

A number of activities were implemented in order to reduce the negative trade balance in the agricultural sector and facilitate the further growth of export of agricultural products, including introduction of international quality standards. At present, all enterprises sponsored within the "Unified Agro Project", which use the co-financing program for agro processing and storage enterprises, are obliged to introduce the ISO-22000 or HACCP international standards.

In 2017, due to a deliberate policy pursued by the state, an unprecedented amount of wine in the history of independent Georgia was exported in different countries

The state has developed a marketing strategic plan for promoting Georgian vine and wine, purposing to create Georgian wine as a competitive category, promoting establishment of target markets and boosting export led growth.

In 2017 an unprecedented amount of wine in the history of independent Georgia is exported. In 2017, 76.7 million bottles (0.75 l) is exported in 54 countries of the world, which is 54% higher than the same figure in 2016. In total $ 170 million worth of wine is exported, which is 49% higher than the reported data in 2016.

Implementation of berry crops development project has already been launched

The berry fruit cultivation development project will be launched to increase the export potential of the berry-fruit industry in the country. As a result: new berries gardens are planted in 900 hectares, in 18 municipalities (50 hectares in each municipality. As for the berry development phases, the production will reach up to 6 900 tons for the 4th year of fruit bearing, which will amount to 28,480,000 GEL.

The modern gardens are currently cultivated on 5,400 hectares under the program "Plant the Future", which continues to promote the cultivation of perennial gardens.

 Implementation of the Farmers Registry Program is underway

The measures will be implemented in the field of farming registry and geo information system for sustainable land use to promote the rational management of agricultural land fund, agricultural land market development and targeted use of agriculture land.

Over the last four years, the number of greenhouses almost doubled in the country

State support for greenhouse farming contributes to the maximum utilization of the export potential as well as the replacement of non-seasonal import with local products.

The project "Imereti Agro zona" aims to stimulate the maximum utilization of the traditional export sector in the west part of Georgia, particularly to promote greenhouse sector (green herbs and greenhouse vegetables), and to increase earnings from export. As a result, in 2-3 years the production in Imereti region will be doubled;

Irrigated land areas are annually increased

Due to the state irrigation programs, the irrigated and drained areas are annually increased, developed and improved in the country. The modern irrigation systems are gradually introduced. For 2020, hydro-ameliorated areas will be increased by 15-20%;

Young entrepreneurs' support program "Young Entrepreneur" has already been launched

The main goal of the program is to provide financial and technical assistance to the young people, promote economic growth in the regions and reduce rural poverty. 250 young entrepreneurs will be financed within 2 years, the total budget amounts to 9.5 million GEL. 57 business plans were approved and 18 agreements were signed according to the data presented on May 30, 2018.

" Increasing private sector capacity is envisaged in our policy’’- Levan Davitashvili said

According to the Candidate for the Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, one of the most important issues is to fulfil the needs of farmers and increase their access to agricultural equipment. Therefore, due to the amendments introduced in the preferential agro credit project, the sub-component have been added to the preferential agro credit components, including: preferential agro-credit financial resources to purchase agricultural machinery and agro leasing, which aims to provide preferential agro-leasing to finance agricultural machinery;

"The project includes a new component, which practically meets the demand of the whole country. Our policy is targeted at promoting the competitiveness of entrepreneurs, private sector, farmers and increase their access to the agricultural technical equipment - Levan Davitashvili said.