UM is working with scientists at Georgian State Agrarian University (GSAU) to modernize the agricultural and natural resource studies curriculum in plant production, soil sciences, veterinary medicine, and water resource management.
The project, which is funded by USDA/FAS, involves translating and publishing Extension brochures, strengthening the curricula in soil science, crops, animal science and water management, and conducting fertility and production trials.
The fertility needs of major crops in different agricultural areas of Georgia also is an important area of study. Lack of current soil fertility information has resulted in crop production loss. Crops being studied are: almonds, black pepper, chickpea, corn, durra, lentil, olives, paulownia, peanuts, soybeans, and winter wheat.
UM will work with GSAU professors on fertility and production trials. Demonstration trails for determination nutrient management and optimum production of released crops.
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.
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USAID's AgVantage: AgVANTAGE (formerly known as Support Added Value Enterprises) is a multi-year, multi-million Activity funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by ACDI/VOCA, a private, non-profit, U.S. international consulting and development organization.
AgVANTAGE Mission is to strengthen the capacity of Georgia's agricultural sector to respond to export opportunities by mitigating critical constraints and by enabling Georgian producers, processors and marketers to compete successfully in international markets.
For more information, contact Ann Leger
Last updated: 03/10/2009