On 17 December 2021, the parliament of Georgia approved the state budget for 2022, with allocations of around 19.2 billion GEL. From which the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture (MEPA) will receive 593.1 million (3.1% of the total budget allocation). MEPA will direct 14.5 mln. GEL towards the Environmental Protection and Agriculture Development Program (2.4% of MEPA’s total budget), with around 507.7 mln. (85.6% of their budget) to be allocated to agricultural development, and approximately 85.4 mln. GEL (12.0%) to be spent on environmental protection.
Compared to 2021, the budget for agricultural development will decrease by around 5.6%. Although additional state funds will be allocated to the National Food Agency (NFA) and the Agency for Sustainable Land Management and Land Use Monitoring (the so-called Land Agency), by 103.5% and 47.4%, respectively. The budget for Georgian Amelioration (GA) will also slightly increase, by 1.5%. While MEPA will direct further spending to the joint Environmental Protection and Agriculture Development Program (43.8% more than in 2021). Whereas, the budget for the National Wine Agency (NWA) and the Scientific-Research Center of Agriculture (SRCA) will decline by 44.5% and 8.1%, respectively. The Rural Development Agency (RDA) will lose 6.8% of its budget from the previous year (Figure 1).
Although the redistribution of funds has changed slightly, as in previous years, the greatest share of MEPA’s funds will support the RDA (51.5%), GA (18.1%), and the NWA (16.7%). The RDA will continue financing around 20 programs; including “Concessional Agri Credit”, with the highest budget of 121 mln. GEL (46% of their total budget), moreover 40 mln. (15%) and 27 mln. (10%) will be directed towards “Co-financing Agricultural Mechanization” and “Plant the Future”, respectively.
The State Budget for 2022 identifies the following core priorities for Georgian agricultural development:
- Supporting domestic production and improving the quality of locally produced agricultural goods;
- Improving access to financial resources for farmers and agricultural enterprises;
- Supporting land market development via the privatization of state lands and systematic land registration.