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Journal number 1 ∘ Nino Rukhaia-Mosmgvdlishvili
Strengthening Competitiveness and Income in the Georgian Agrarian Sector


This work was supported by Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation (SRNSF) 

YS-2016-23 Young Scientists Research Grant. 

In this paper we discuss ways of cooperation in agrarian sector and its role in developing the field and stimulating export. During last year, using secondary and empirical studies, we have studied difficulties in Georgian agrarian sector, corresponding problems and different ways of their solution proposed to government by scientists.

Regarding the purposes for the study, the following tasks have been outlined:

1.            The survey of main workforce- peasants and farmers in field and rural areas, their attitudes and opinions analysis. This study gave us the information about the mood of  population, analysis of their problems assisted us in determining the principle messages of PR campaign while economic policy formation. In addition, it is possible to identify a new type of challenges and opportunities; Research trips in regions were continued throughout whole period of the study, and included all reachable regions.

2. Studing results of recently implemented governmential projects. Detecting their main difficulties and problems..  There hasn’t been any scientific research about those topics before.  This research provided many valuable information about how effectively do society and farmers react to government initiatives, which components of those projects were more effective and what was more realistic to be used in today’s Georgian reality.

Within the scope of the study, with random survey farmers were interviewed in all reachable regions of Georgia.

There are the major findings of the study:

•  People in regions, who have no connection with internet, think, that they have enough knowledge to harvest, but government don’t helps them to sell the product. They don’t have enough information about support programs and do not use them. Don’t see the importance of the new technologies and as a rule, they are harvesting the ancestral land.

•  Respondents, who answered by internet are more interested in new technologies, new knowledge. They are interested in export of their product. Are not asking for government subsidiaries. They have good information about governmental support programs, are using them and have their experience about them.

•  Cooperation system does not work in Georgia, because there are not enough interested people. Also, there are a lot of people, who got into one, but they did not get any profit from it.

As the research shows, most part of the people, who are involved in agrarian business and fill themselves as farmers and are working for profit, are persons from Tbilisi (or at least live there last few years). They do farming from distance. They have other job and in non-working hours taking care for their agrarian business. This segment of our respondents was more look like independent business man. They say, they don’t need some special subsidiary from government but they are ready and want to study new technologies and will be happy if government will cover their expenses in this case. But it is important, that they also are not a part of agricultural cooperatives. And, if they are, they are not satisfied with the results of their cooperation. Results show that the government program in populating cooperation in agricultural field was not successful. Besides, there are few cooperatives, which are working and receiving profits.

Another interesting case is using modern technologies and web for their business: The most part of the little farmers are using internet for extending their knowledge and find new contacts in their business. And as research shows, it is their only way for it.  Based on the above, little farmers are not even interested on exporting their products and even they don’t care about the quality of their products.

As the survey results show, small and medium farmers are not ready to engage and effectively use state initiatives, grants projects and other activities. This is confirmed by the fact that all existing projects which enjoy support, belong to farmers who have already had their own businesses and wanted to expand. Theoretically, on the one hand, it is not as bad, probably good; however, real outcome can be achieved only with the large scale effect; therefore, all mini-agricultural lands should be involved in agricultural production Therefore, we think that communication with small and medium-sized farmers, people living in the regions and agro-producers must be improved.

Furthermore, during our empirical research, one more flaw has been identified - different projects initiated by the state, which have one and the same targeted segments, require different legal forms of registration. Which causes more confusion among the peasants and strengthens their alienation from common initiatives. It is necessary to unify similar activities.

Farmers should be convinced of the need to cooperate and to shape the forms and means of the unions. In our previous studies we published an agrarian cluster model, which in our view is a more efficient way to unite. However, in the focus group, research has shown that farmers are not nearly ready to participate in similar "experiments". But government should stimulate those people to get involved in modern agrarian production, which at the end will play substantial role in boosting Georgia’s economy.

Most importantly-the developing line of Georgian agricultural sector must become the development of high quality bio (organic) products, which will be exported to the European market. Of course, we can not sell our  product in the EU today, but in case of correct agriculture and export policy, this will be a real, stable and profitable niche for Georgian products.

Implementation of all of the above listed in the next few years will result in sharp intensification of the competitive production of the industry. In order to stimulate export, it is necessary to help the private sector in the field of net marketing as well as all the channels and resources available, to position Georgia as a producer of high quality agricultural products producer on the world market. In order to achieve this goal, the strict control over the quality of export products and the protection of companies from falsification of appellations of origin will be necessary.

Finally, these measures will lead to rapid development of the agrarian sector, increase farmers' involvement and sharply increase revenues of the region, which will reduce the number of socially vulnerable people in the country and liberate the budgetary houses to further stimulate the economy.

All above cause the intensification of production in the field increase the competitiveness of agro producers and manufacturers. The strict quality control will increase the country’s image, as a best quality producer and gives opportunity Georgian companies for diversification of their markets.