georgia Georgia is a Eurasian country of the Caucasus region located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe. Its entire western border lies along the Black Sea, while its northern region has a long common border with Russia. Georgia’s population is about 4.5 million (2012), and the name of its capital is Tbilisi. The country was a part of the Soviet Union until it gained independence in 1991, but thereafter, while struggling to adopt free market economy through structural reforms, it faced serious economic crisis during most of the 1990s. However, its international economic standing greatly improved in 2007, with fast-growing tourism making a significant contribution to its economy. The country still has persistent poverty prevailing particularly in its rural areas. Georgia is administratively divided into nine main regions and two autonomous republics. The regions are sub-divided into 69 districts.

title=Context

Context

Georgia is an intensely mountainous country, covered by many inter-connected Caucasus mountain ranges.  It enjoys a variety of climates including warm, humid, sub-tropical along the Black Sea coast, cold and wet alpine climate in the high mountains, and arid environment in steppes. The development of the agricultural sector was not a high priority for the past Georgian governments. According to the European Union, numerous problems and challenges faced by Georgia such as capital disinvestment, the Russian embargo, absence of a functioning agricultural research-education-extension system, lack of a well-functioning land market, poor condition of irrigation systems and other infrastructures, and widespread impact of livestock diseases have resulted in the reduction of agricultural production by 20 per cent since 2005. Even though agriculture’s decline in economic terms has been steady it still remains an important safety net for rural population in terms of food security. The present government has taken several bold steps to revive the agricultural sector such as inviting foreign investors and experienced farmers from countries like India to buy and develop arable land, something most Georgian farmers have not been able to do for various reasons.

Major crops grown are corn and winter wheat. Fruits include apples, wine grapes, peaches, nectarines, pears, oranges, tangerines, mandarins, and clementine. Vegetables include potatoes, tomatoes and garlic. Among the livestock, cattle, pigs and sheep are common. Main agricultural exports are wine and processed tea. Georgia has hundreds of grape varieties and has been producing high-quality wines for centuries.

Key Statistics and Indicators

Indicator

Value

Year  

Agricultural land (sq. km)

Agricultural land (% of land area)

Arable land (hectares)

Arable land (% of land area)

Arable land (hectares per person)

24,690

35.53

414,000

5.95

0.09

2011

2011

2011

2011

2011

Fertilizer consumption (kg per hectare of arable land)

33.77

2010

Agriculture, value added (% of GDP)

Food production index (2004-2006 = 100)

Food exports (% of merchandise exports)

Food imports (% of merchandise imports)

8.5

77.66

29.15

15.99

2012

2011

2012

2012

GNI per capita, Atlas method (current US$)

3270

2012

Literacy rate, adult total (% of people ages 15 and above)

Literacy rate, youth female (% of females ages 15-24)

Literacy rate, youth male (% of males ages 15-24)

Ratio of young literate females to males (% ages 15-24)

Ratio of female to male secondary enrollment (%)

99.73

99.85

99.75

100.1

94.83

2011

2011

2011

2011

2008

Mobile cellular subscriptions (per 100 people)

Internet users (per 100 people)

109.15

45.50

2012

2012

Population, total

Population density (people per sq. km of land area)

Rural population

Rural population (% of total population)

Agricultural population (% of total population)

Total economically active population

Total economically active population in agriculture

Total economically active population in agriculture (in %

    of total economically active population)

Female economically active population in agriculture (% of

     total economically active population in agriculture)

4,511,800

78.93

2,121,466

47.02

N.A.

2,404,861

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

2012

2012

2012

2012

2012

Sources: The World Bank

Acknowledgements

  • Authored by M. Kalim Qamar (February 2014)
  • Edited by Burton E. Swanson