The President of Georgia toured a hothouse in Tserovani

The President of Georgia toured a hothouse in Tserovani, which is stretched around approximately one hectare. The hothouse is of modern standards and is being managed with ultramodern technology. Tomato seedlings are produced there with high technology. The owner is expecting 300 tons of harvest at the hothouse this year. Mikheil Saakashvili noted that the main goal of the government is to first fill the Georgian market with local production and then plan to export it.

“Our tomatoes are better by quality than those produced in Turkey, however Turkish tomatoes  cost up to 2 GEL and the cost of our tomato is 1.5 GEL. Because the stores had to pay VAT they bought our tomatoes for less. When foreign tomatoes reached the border the VAT was already paid and the conditions were better. But everything has turned around now. Yesterday, the Parliament passed a legislation making the local production exempt from VAT even at the a store. This will give us an opportunity to make our agricultural products more advantageous. We should at least reach a stage when the Georgian market will be filled with local production. You probably remember when I entered a supermarket several years ago and everything was Iranian, Russian, Turkish, and Ukrainian. A large part of this production has already been replaced by ours. This tax regime assists filling up the Georgian market with this production, but this is not the top of our dream – our production should be exported. Our tomatoes were exported to Turkey from the hothouses of Adjara for the first time. This is already a good precedent within the scope of the free trade agreement. This is happening at a time when oil is becoming more expensive, and people have trouble working on their land, but the solution is to adopt new technologies, create an even more flexible tax regime, and invest more. We have already started this process and the most important thing now is to sign free trade agreements with everyone. In short, this year, the agricultural program will start working in all directions, so that our people feel the concrete progress in terms of production” – stated Mikheil Saakashvili.

The President also spoke about the importance of employment in the agriculture sphere. According to him, the government has promised the refugee population of Tserovani to develop additional facilities and hence jobs for them. He also drew attention to the fact that this promise has also been made to other communities. “We are keeping our promise- industrialization is already going on in the communities of people who suffered from the war” – added he.

The new hothouse has been built by financing from the state and up to 100 persons were employed at its construction. After the end of construction 30 jobs were created, employing locals, including refugees. Similar hothouses are planned to be built in other parts of Georgia as well. 

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