Installation of a revolutionary anti-hail system that aims to reduce 95 percent of hail damage to crops has started in Kakheti, Georgia’s famous wine-making region.
Specifically, the anti-hail net system will be established on Chotora Mountain.
Officials have selected 83 points where nets will eventually be installed. These points will cover the eight municipalities in the Kakheti region.
The new system aimed to reduce hail damage on crops by almost 95 percent. The state allocated about 15 million GEL to the project.
The system will undergo its first test in April. All going well, the new system will be operational by summer.
The country’s Military Scientific-Technical Centre, DELTA, was in charge of the anti-hail system in Kakheti.
DELTA representatives said the anti-hail nets would not have any negative effects on the health of the local population.
The anti-hail system worked by launching an unguided 60 mm rocket into the air. The rocket has the capacity to carry 50-70g of silver iodide reagent.
When the rocket reaches the appropriate height, the silver iodine reagent will be dispersed at an altitude of 2.5-4.5 km above ground for 30-35 seconds. The estimated number of rockets needed in a 12-month period is 5,000 units.
Hail has always been a major issue for people in Kakheti. Every year a large portion of the agricultural sector, particularly grapes, are damaged beyond repair by hail, leaving farmers with no crops.
During the pre-election period the region’s population urged the Government to provide a solution to the hail problem.
The latest largest hail storm in Kakheti was recorded in July 2012 when 100 percent of all crops were destroyed in several villages. Furthermore, hundreds of houses were left without roofs and many cattle died.