Georgian agricultural development has received significant attention lately, and it remains one of the most pressing issues facing the country. Yet proper development comes only as a result of comprehensive understanding, and so a study by UNDP Georgia, Swiss Cooperate South Caucasus and the Ministry of Agriculture, in partnership with ISET and ACT, a research company, entitled 'What are the knowledge needs of Georgian farmers?' was initiated.
The groundwork of the project was carried out by ACT, while the ISET Policy Institute analysed and interpreted the data. The study pursued three overarching goals: (i) to understand which gaps in agricultural knowledge of Georgian farmers have the strongest impact on farmers’ productivity and income, and recommend relevant agricultural extension measures;
(ii) to predict structural and social changes in Georgia’s agriculture under different scenarios; (iii) to suggest appropriate policy interventions to mitigate or encourage these changes.
Following the study, a panel discussion was held on September 14, with international and local experts in attendance, as well as and agricultural policy makers (including Deputy Ministers Keti Natriashvili and David Galegashvili). Opening remarks were made by Eric Livny, President of ISET, and Neil Scott, the UNDP Resident Representative in Georgia, with Dr. Florian Biermann of ISET then presenting the main findings of the study. Ending with a general discussion and open questions, the event brought together a diverse range of figures from the private and public sector, as well as a number from prominent NGOs.
The conclusions drawn by the panel discussion will be included in a report of the study and distributed to all companies involved in the agricultural sector.