UM is working with scientists at Georgian State Agrarian University (GSAU) to modernize the agricultural and natural resource studies curriculum. Part of the project, which is funded by USDA/FAS, involves publishing Extension brochures, strengthening the curricula in soil science, crops, animal science and water management.
UM professors and extension specialists mentor the GSAU professors, as they change their teaching and research methods.
Agriculture is of vital importance to the Georgian economy, and its share in GDP accounts for 21%. This indicator reduced from 30% down to 21% during 6 years. This is caused by the poor agricultural infrastructure of Georgia, low level of agricultural production intensification and lack of modern scientific support and practical achievements in the production. There are serious problems in utilization of land resources: the structure of planted areas of food crops was destroyed. In fact, the material-technical base and agricultural equipment need to be re-established. Highly qualified specialists are not being trained complying with European standards. Investment activities also face huge barriers and the management and marketing systems are not effective.
The production level of animal food products does not meet the population requirements. The animal food product supply farms a big problem. Moreover, there is a high risk of pollution of these products, which may cause a serious danger for the human health. Food safety and quality do not comply with appropriate standards. To ensure safety of human health it is necessary to provide strict controls of the safety and quality of animal food products.
The structure of agricultural land ownership underwent a significant transformation in the first stage of the agrarian reforms. After the land reforms, about one million households became the owners of nearly 30% of total agricultural land.
From 1990 on the transition from the centrally planned economy to the market economy caused a crisis that, on its part, resulted in a reduction of the number of farm animals, decrease in productivity and a down fall in the animal production industry.
For more information, contact Ann Leger
Last updated: 03/10/2009