The President of Georgia visited spring works in Kakheti region


The President of Georgia visited Kakheti region today. Mikheil Saakashvili got interested with the ongoing spring works; he visited arable and seeding lands and met the governor and the heads of administrations at Farmer's House. During his conversation the President noted that Georgia must transfer on intensive agriculture. The Minister of Agriculture Bakur Kvezereli visited Kaheti together with the President of Georgia as well.

"In a country like ours that is historically considered to be a country of land cultivation and where arable and seeding lands are one fourth - we are cultivating 60 percent only. In reality we have huge potential of seeding and cultivation and we must increase it more. We must transfer on intensive agriculture and intensive cattle-breeding", Mikheil Saakashvili noted.

The President responded to the people unhappy with the land tax and noted that a country has no spare lands.

"Former prosecutor, former police chief or deputy, former deputies of heads of administration in 90ies took 200 hectares of land. Since they lost their jobs they were feeding their families with this land - they weren't doing anything else. Of course they were cursing the Government day and night. They had 20 cows there and we were missing these 200 hectares because of this. About 500 or thousand families are not able to receive food on time. I want to remind you one slogan of Rose Revolution - up to 5 hectares would be liberated from taxes - it meant that together with increasing capacity of land taxes would progress as well. So if you weren't cultivating land it had no reason to maintain it. The land exists for cultivation. No matter how expensive the gas is, in those conditions, when we brought in technique, all got centralized and now there is no longer chaotic situation like it was 5-6 years ago. If you are not cultivating the land, either you have no will, or simply you are a lazy person. We do not have spare land in Georgia - we are a country with small land, but we have very good land and it is possible to have big harvest on it. This is why you have to utilize 100 percent of lands in order to create more products for the local customers and for export as well", Mikheil Saakashvili stated.

As the Minister of Agriculture noted besides the fact that villages were equipped with technique and are providing with irrigation, the Government does its best in order to make people study farming well. As he said Kakheti is involved very actively in corn program, for example many people got interested with this program in Lagodekhi and accordingly many people would receive more than half a million income in GEL. As the governor stated corn is being seeded on more than 17 hectares in Kakheti, which will become huge source of income. According to the information provided by Bakur Kvaratskheili land cultivation is increased by 25 percent, however spring works continue and cultivated lands will reach about 35 percent more this year.

As the President noted, by the decision of the Government of Georgia Kakheti should become an exemplary region in all direction.

"We are sending educated agronomists abroad, give them education and some perspectives appear. Now we have agrarian Government in Georgia meaning that everybody works on the improvement of agriculture. It means that we are members of agrarian government. We have to consider that it is headquarter of agrarian Government. We have managed to practically abolish crises problem by vintage. We must work the same way in all directions. We are now developing programs together with the World Bank, we are taking one region of Georgia, particularly Kakheti and want to turn this region into an exemplary place in every direction. First of all in the direction of tourism, agriculture and in general in regards of social conditions. This is our aim. We are starting the realization of this project this year and in 2012-2013 we will have first exemplary region in Georgia and it will be Kakheti. I know that there are different problems in every region of Kakheti. We take more care of some of regions and some have less attention, because of some specific reasons; among them because of the lack of resources and because initial conditions were even harder. Finally the whole Kakheti must become exemplary not only for the rest of Georgia, but for all countries surrounding us. No more uncultivated lands should remain here, no single unutilized tourism and energy objects should remain the same. The most important is not to have poor people any longer here. After carrying out all events, we will no longer have such cases for those, who want and can work, who wants and can work we will have 100 percent of employment rate here", Mikheil Saakashvili stated.

The President of Georgia toured Kakheti cultivation and seeding lands from the helicopter as well. Mikheil Saakashvili flew over the whole region and stressed his attention on plural melons as well. He said that the progress is already noticeable in the region, new lands had been cultivated and plural cereals are practically cultivated already. As Mikheil Saakashvili noted pretty large territories of lands were uncultivated, but this year the progress is pretty obvious.

"Five years ago when I flew over this territory I only saw the empty valleys. Nothing was visible here - neither crops, nor cultivated plots. These places probably were used for pasturing reasons only. Two years ago and even last year big majority of these territories were uncultivated. I can observe big progress this year", Mikheil Saakashvili noted during his conversation with Bakur Kvezereli.

Mikheil Saakashvili went through newly laid out hazelnut plantations and olive oil gardens. He also got interested with crops of American corn and kitchen gardens as well.

Finally, the President visited one of the farmers at American cornfield in village Chikaani, Kvareli region. Zviad Mandzualashvili was bringing herbicide in his cornfield. The President got interested with the conditions and harvesting.

"If you would use the land for pasturing reasons only and some would have 30 milk cows on 1- hectares of land - they would have 5 or six thousand GEL income per year. And in case of cultivating the same territory of land this income would get minimum ten times more. This is why it is unacceptable to have spare lands. One can supply a huge bakery with the flower that was cultivated by this corn. This is a real intensive agriculture, in between of laziness and extensive cattle breeding. This is our only future. I have visited one of the most beautiful places in Georgia. I saw great territories of lands were uncultivated. Looking at it all I have asked local farmers: why is it uncultivated? The responded: God gave us such a beauty and we must leave it like it is. This is a difference between the psychology of some people and a person, on whom the whole Georgia stands. Thank you very much, People like you give us hopes", Mikheil Saakashvili noted and added: "about one billion GEL will come in Georgia by fruit and vegetable growing. If we distribute this indicator on number of families - we will receive several hundreds or even one thousand in total only out of this direction. Added corn, vineyard, hazelnuts, olive oil to that... So we have unexhausted resources and it is possible to triple the incomes".