PM discusses agricultural projects during regional tour

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili continues his regional tour in Shida Kartli. Photo by PM's press office, 12 May 2014 - 21:59, Tbilisi,Georgia

About 75, 000 Georgian farmers with small farms in the Shida Kartli region will receive a share of 8 million GEL of state aid this year to help boost their businesses.

Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili visited the Shida Kartli region today during his regional tour across the country.

Garibashvili met members of the local population, learnt about the ongoing projects in the region and discussed the Government’s short-term goals and how it would benefit those in Georgia’s regional areas.

The PM made special mention of the Tiriponi and Saltvisi irrigation system rehabilitation project, which would take place in Karbi village, within the Gori municipality.

The PM said work would continue until July 2014 to update and improve the irrigation systems for 20, 000 hectares of land covering 30 villages affected by the 2008 Russia-Georgia war.

The Tiriponi and Saltvisi irrigation system rehabilitation was implemented by the Municipal Development Fund of Georgia with financial support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

About 100 local residents are employed to carry out the project, which is expected to cost more than 14 million GEL.

Meanwhile the Government’s new Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure Elguja Khokrishvili and the Governor of the Shida Kartli region, Zurab Rusishvili, informed the head of the Government about ongoing activities in the region.

The pair said the main channels of the Tiriponi and Saltvisi irrigation systems were located along with the so-called border of occupied Tskhinvali region.

"Taking care of the people affected by the war is one of the most important priorities of the Government,” the PM said in response.

"Implementation of the infrastructural projects will offer great support to the residents of border-line villages, who despite big obstacles, still maintain their farms. Economic strengthening of the state is a precondition for conflict settlement and the Government of Georgia is moving towards it step by step.”

Today Garibashvili also visited a poultry farm in Barnabiantkari village, located in the Kaspi municipality. The farm was founded with support of a discounted loan from the state.

The farmer spoke about the state of his business and mentioned the benefit of the state loan, which helped the company increase its production two and a half times, employ 42 people and export their product.

Garibashvili was pleased to hear the positive result and said: "Each successful enterprise is a good example for entrepreneurs to invest in agriculture, employ people, produce a real Georgian production, contribute to Georgian economic development, create a safe business and have a profit.”

"Last year the Government subsidized grapes. This year we have decided to subsidize apples,” the PM told Shida Kartli residents.

He listened to the problems of the local population and discussed possible solutions.

The population said they were mainly concerned with gasification problems, bridge safety and primary school rehabilitations.

Meanwhile Garibahsvili also visited Gori and introduced the Georgian Dream’s candidate who will run for Mayor in the June 15 local-self government elections.

At the end of the day, the PM visited the 51st Battalion of the Fifth Brigade and saw the living conditions of the military servants.

The PM started his regional tour in the Samegrelo region in Western Georgian in April this year.