On 30 August 2019, a public hearing to discuss Georgia’s Rural and Agricultural Development Strategy for 2021-2027 was conducted at the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture (MEPA). The new strategy document represents a roadmap for Georgia’s rural and agricultural development for the next decade.
The strategy outlines three major goals to be achieved by 2027:
1. Increasing the competitiveness of agricultural and non-agricultural sectors;
2. Sustainable management of natural resources, preservation of ecosystems, and climate change adaptation;
3. Ensuring food/feed safety and the development of efficient veterinary and plant protection systems.
Each goal has a set of indicators with respective baseline and target values. Four of the indicators used to measure the competitiveness of agricultural and non-agricultural sectors include: output of agricultural production and food made from processing agricultural products; output in the business sector; export of food and agricultural products and average monthly income of rural households.
It should be noted that the strategy does not sufficiently cover such important topics as agricultural land registration, consolidation and market development, or youth involvement in agriculture. Both of these issues are extremely important for the sustainable development of the sector.
For the current period, one of the most noteworthy issues is prices. In September 2019, the year-over-year prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages increased drastically by 11.7%, contributing 3.49 percentage points to the change in the total CPI.