Georgian Agriculture Minister Otar Shamugia on Wednesday highlighted the Government’s support for the country’s agriculture sector over the recent years, noting the backing given to winemakers and hazelnut farmers in particular.
Shamugia accused domestic opposition of “politicising” topics of seasonal harvest figures and claimed farmers had received “unprecedented” support from the state over the recent years.
He contrasted the figure of 20 million litres of wine exported a decade ago to 120 million he said was expected from exports in 2023, and added the Government was aiming to receive $1 billion from the export of wine and alcoholic beverages by 2030.
We are talking about the export of about $400 million worth of wine and spirits. This is a very big source of income for our growers, winemakers and, in general, for the country”, he said.
We constantly hear criticism, and now we are being offered to pay subsidies for non-harvested grapes, while for years they said subsidies were bad and should not be implemented. This is, in my opinion, populism”, Shamugia said.
The Minister also said hazelnut was “one of the important export products” for Georgia, with over 70 percent used in exports to European Union countries.
He said 46,000 tonnes of hazelnuts had been harvested in Georgia in 2021 but noted climate conditions had led to deteriorated harvest numbers. The official noted the Government had created a “targeted programme based on European practice” to support small farmers with hazelnut orchards of up to three hectares.
Source : Agenda