Hit by low harvest yields and double-digit inflation, hundreds of Georgia’s 700,000 small-scale farmers are confronting the start of the spring planting season without the money to purchase seeds.
The agricultural sector accounts for a sizeable chunk of Georgia’s economy -- 8.4 percent, officially – but, in interviews with EurasiaNet.org, farmers in Georgia’s agricultural epicenter, the eastern region of Kakheti, say they are struggling to make a living off the land. Faced with a 13.7-percent inflation rate, Paata Matiashvili, a cattle rancher in the Alazani River valley, said he will be planting fewer seeds this year for grain to feed his livestock and his family. “I don’t know what we are going to do,” he said.
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Molly Corso is a freelance reporter based in Tbilisi and editor of the American Chamber of Commerce’s Investor.ge magazine.