Minister Davitashvili: “Our staff and units have intensified their work amidst the disaster to ensure an undisrupted accommodation of grapes”
“On August 26, a natural disaster hit the Kakheti region, which caused an immense damage to agricultural-rural seedlings; however, the State ensured an immediate intervention. From the first day, the coordination unit did join forces with the local government authority and launched efforts to calculate the damage. At this stage, around 5000 hectares has been damaged in an entire Kakheti region, which mostly spans across Telavi, Gurjaani and Kvareli municipalities; while the latter three municipalities have witnessed 100 % of the damage, there are areas with 30-50 % of damage. We have ensured a detailed calculation of the 5000 hectares of damage, which mostly covers Saperavi and Rkatsiteli vineyards and has affected viticulture farmers. We have made an instant decision to ensure immediate communication with the farmers and guarantee that their harvest is accommodated at several factories contracted by the State and despite of any damage of these grapes. Throughout the vintage, the State enterprise LTD “Crop Management Company” has been represented at every municipality of Kakheti, which has contracted various wine companies, who will ensure an undisrupted accommodation of our farmers’ harvest. Amidst the disaster, our coordination unit and each and every staff member and municipality have ensured an undisrupted process. Nevertheless, some of the media outlets have spread false information that the accommodation process has been a challenging one; meanwhile, we are not surprised with the latter speculation, despite of the fact that since 2012 each kilogram of grapes has been accepted and accommodated without any problem. There has not been any vintage without disseminating false information and without political speculations. Some of the political powers target harvest of a one-year process as their political aspirations and abuse it for their agenda. Nevertheless, we are deploying tireless efforts to stand aside our farmers and vine-farmers. Upon an initiative of the Prime Minister of Georgia, I have personally visited the region and the respective farmers along with the leadership of Kakheti. We have discussed on what could be undertaken for a greater assistance and we are firm that the farmers’ expectations have been fully satisfied. Damaged grapes of Rkatsiteli will be accepted for 0,8 GEL, while damaged grapes of Saperavi will be accepted for 1 GEL; the latter will be accepted at each and every location, which is available at an area of disaster. Our efforts will safeguard farmers from traveling at a long distance in order to accommodate their harvest; the process is smooth. We are fully aware that some of the goods can be disposed soon and shall be accommodates as soon as possible. The State has undertaken every effort for an organized accommodation. The farmers, whose harvest has been completely damaged, the State will provide them with 3000 GEL of compensation. In fact, it is an amount which they require to get a harvest. Unfortunately, the disaster has caught us in the process of the vintage, thus we will ensure full compensation to empower farmers to proceed with production, keeping vineyard and their future activities. Meanwhile, we have agreed to fully or partially replace perennial crops with a significant damage; we would rely the latter decision to the farmers themselves. Our component “Plant the Future” had been temporarily enacted two years ago. We will re-launch the latter this year to ensure a full compensation of the seedlings’ worth and also for arranging a plantation; in case of applying drop-system, then, the co-funding will enable gardeners and vine-farmers to restore their plantations. We shall embrace that the insurance companies have been effectively operating in the region and the State ensures a constant liaison with those insurance companies, who had insured farmers in Kakheti. I would like to once again utilize an opportunity and address our farmers to use insurance packages, which are offered by the State. In frames of the agro-insurance, half of an insurance payment will be made by the State, while dealing with vineyards, thus making the process greatly affordable. We have had meetings with the farmers and each one of them acknowledge failure to utilize insurance in an incumbent year. Despite of an increasing rate of insurance, we can assert that from damaged spaces up to 1200 hectares of territories has been insured. Those insured will be eligible to a complete compensation and are in an advantaged situation. It is a clear demonstration that insurance is crucial for agricultural-rural activities to safeguard future from the an ongoing obstacles” – The Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, Mr Levan Davitashvili stated today, after commencing of the Government’s session.