On December 14 2017, the second phase of ReforMeter started with an evaluation of Georgia’s agricultural development.

According to a Government Survey, 74.9% of the strategy has already been implemented. In the first phase, the same indicator was at 69.5%, although improvement of the Ministry of Agriculture organizational structure is still in process. The Ministry is currently implementing the following projects: gene-bank development for the conservation of agro-diversity and endemic species, scientific research on storage and processing methods, and the rational use of soil. In order to support agricultural cooperation, the following new projects were introduced: cooperative support programs in the viticulture sector, a State Program to Support Beekeeping Agricultural Co-operatives, and a program for the rational utilization of pasture and meadows. It was stated that the Agriculture Registry does not exist yet, the seed/planting material certification is still in process and a geo-information system, an analog to the Land Parcel Identification System (LPIS), does not exist either. The total area of irrigated land was increased by 2000 ha and drained land area sby 1900 ha as well. In addition, the creation of a modern DNA laboratory and the seed/planting material certification system is in process.

According to the government

The reforms were also assessed by the Stakeholder Group. The reforms’ implementation received 5.63 points out of 10; in the first phase, the reforms had a score of 5.41.

According to the Stakeholders

Several interesting points were raised in the debate attended by Deputy Minister Khanishvili, Reform Stakeholders and invited guests:

• The total amount of loans issued within the state agro-credit project since 2013 is 1.5 Billion GEL. The number of financed projects is decreasing, which is caused by less demand and increased minimum limits of loans from 5,000 to 20,000 GEL.

• The share of the agriculture sector in Foreign Direct Investments remains insignificant, but local investments are growing. It is to underline that since 2014 the processing sector overtook the primary sector by real value added.

• Since 2014, agriculture exports have been decreasing and the number of exporters is not growing. Deputy Minster Khanishvili stated that the decreased value of total agriculture export was mainly effected by less exports of nuts. ISET calculated export diversification indicators according to the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index methodology, and found that in 2017, export diversification by products was improved, but deteriorated by countries. Participants from the MoA underlined that exports decreased but self-sufficiency has been consistently increasing.

• The biggest problem of 2017 was revealed to be the infestation of the Stink Bug, which will also be a challenge in 2018. The ministry does not see an effective solution to the problem but calls on farmers to follow its preventative guidelines.

• Agriculture Statistics was named as a significant issue as well. Data provided by GeoStat is not trustworthy and provides information only on existing trends.

ReformVerdict – the overall assessment of all reforms – was improved insignificantly from a score of 4.75 to 4.80.

ReformVerdict: 2017 Phase 2

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