Agriculture in Kakheti – Challenges, Successes and Perspectives

On May 10, 2011, the fifth public debate supported by the South Caucasus Regional Office of the Heinrich Boell Foundation was held at Telavi State University. The meeting was devoted to the agricultural problems and challenges in the Kakheti region.

The discussion speakers were Niko Sulkhanishvili, Doctor of Agricultural Sciences and associate professor at  Telavi State University, Davit Tamarashvili, Director of the L.T.D. "Wine and Grape Group" and Ioseb Zmanashvili, Director of the "Agrosphere Gurjaani".

Representatives of the government, opposition parties and civil society participated in the meeting. The discussion covered three basic topics: state policy on agriculture, the existing situation and main problems, and key challenges of this sphere.

According to Niko Sulkhanishvili, the necessary conditions for the development of agriculture in Kakheti already exist. As Davit Tamarashvili noted, however, agriculture in the region is being developed in a fragmented manner and therefore, it is necessary to shape the systemic approach of the development plan. Ioseb Zmanashvili, in contrast, stated that he sees that the solution to this problem lies in introducing modern and intensive technologies.

The participants of the meeting also discussed ways of achieving agriculture profitability; all of them agreed that the solution to existing problems to a large extent depends on the improvement of approaches and on making Georgian peasants and farmers more informed about these issues.