On December 10, the parliament of Georgia approved the state budget for 2020. The budget includes allocations of around 14.4 billion GEL. Out of which, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture (MEPA) will receive 353 mln. GEL (2.4% of the total budget allocation). MEPA will direct approximately 293 mln. GEL (2.0% of the total budget allocation) towards agricultural development and 60 mln. GEL (0.4%) will be spent on environmental protection.
Compared to 2019, the budget for agricultural development will increase by around 4%. More state funds will be allocated to the Scientific-Research Center (SRCA), the Agriculture and Rural Development Agency (ARDA) and Georgian Amelioration, while the budget will slightly decrease for the National Food Agency (NFA), the Agriculture Development Program (MEPA administration), and the National Wine Agency.
Although the redistribution of funds has changed slightly, as in previous years, the biggest share of MEPA’s funds will further support ARDA (143 mln. GEL), Georgian Amelioration (76 mln. GEL), and the NFA (41 mln. GEL). ARDA will continue financing about ten programs, including a preferential agro credit project with the highest budget of 74 mln. GEL. It should be noted that the Agricultural Cooperative Development Agency (ACDA) is now also under ARDA’s umbrella.
MEPA will allocate approximately 2.4 mln. GEL for establishing a new agency focusing on land issues. Specifically, the national agency for sustainable land management and land use monitoring, with 70 employees, will be in charge of developing an agricultural land policy, collecting data on agricultural land use, and establishing a unified database for the land balance in Georgia.