In 2018, FDI in agriculture constituted 15.9 mln. USD. While the total FDI in 2018 was lower than in 2017, FDI in agriculture has significantly increased (by 28.2%). The highest FDI in agriculture was observed in the second quarter of 2018, while there was divestment (negative FDI) in the first quarter of 2018. The divestment was quite small and was followed by a significant increase in other quarters.
According to GeoStat’s preliminary data for 2018, Georgia’s economy grew by 4.7%- the same rate as in 2017. As 2017 was a challenging year for Georgian agriculture, the sector experienced -3.8% negative growth. Unlike 2017, agriculture in 2018 had a positive and rather modest growth rate of 0.7%.
Underdevelopment of the land market is a major obstacle behind the development of Georgian agriculture. A significant number of unregistered plots of land prevent land consolidation and increases in agricultural productivity. According to the Ministry of Justice, as of February 2019, in the framework of the land registration reform, since 2016, there are 543,139 citizens who have registered 130,943 ha of land; 1,431 legal entities which have registered 1,793 ha; and 34,131 state entities with 169,241 ha of registered land.
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”.