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.
There was 2.1% decrease in agricultural production in 2017 compared to the previous year. Production in the plant-growing sector declined by 0.4%, while animal production experienced a decrease of 3.8%. Lower production resulted in lower self-sufficiency ratios for most agricultural products.
According to the data for the first quarter of 2018, the number of livestock has increased in Georgia. The biggest increase was observed for the number of sheep and goats, which increased by 35.9%. Such a sharp rise might be explained by the increased demand from East Asian countries.
2017 was a challenging year for Georgian agriculture. There is a decline in the level of sown areas, which decreased by 10.5% in 2017 compared to 2016. 214.9 thousand ha in 2017 is the lowest figure for the last four years. Average yields and production decreased for most crops, as well.