Georgia’s food & agricultural exports almost hit their 1 billion USD threshold, attaining a historic maximum since independence – and that certainly sounds like something to celebrate! However, the respective imports have also increased and broken records. As a result, the trade balance (the difference between export and import) remained virtually unchanged at (-394) million USD.
On April 3, 2015 the Government of Georgia adopted a technical regulation in the dairy sector in order to define major principles for the production, processing, and distribution of dairy products. Later in 2017, the regulation was amended and the law now strictly regulates the labelling of dairy products and particularly the use of terms such as “cheese” and “butter”.
The state budget for 2019 is currently being discussed in Parliament and must be approved by the end of the year. According to the revised version (second version), the total budget will be around 13 billion GEL. Out of which, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture (MEPA) will get 332 million GEL (2.4% of the total budget).
Back in 2015 Georgian sheep market got into the spotlight due to the increased demand for sheep from Arabic countries. Prior to 2015, Azerbaijan was the most important export destination for live sheep, while in 2015, in addition to Azerbaijan, Georgian sheep was exported to United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.
Agricultural production has decreased by 0.8% in the second quarter of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. In spite of decline in agricultural production, FDI in agriculture has increased. While FDI in agriculture is relatively low compared to the other sectors of Georgian economy, it should be noted that, agricultural FDI in the second quarter of 2018 reaches its maximum for the last three years.