Agriculture Ministry Starts Land-Poor Farmers’ Assistance Program

The Agriculture Ministry declared that this year’s program on assistance for land-poor farmers’ spring works will start from February 1st and will be completed in August. The budget for the 2014 program is 90 million Lari. 50 million Lari of which is allocated from the state budget, while 15 million lari will be provided by Rural and Agriculture Development Fund and the remaining sum will be provided from the funds of the Agriculture Projects Management Agency.

According to the Ministry, about 800,000 land-poor farmers will benefit from the program this year. Beneficiaries will be those farmers who own or possess agricultural land sites with area of up to 1.25 ha and use these sites for cultivation of annual and perennial crops.

The level of state support provided to land-poor farmers will be based on plot size, with farmers divided into two categories; below 0.25 ha and between 0.25 ha and 1.25 ha.

Beneficiaries will receive support to help purchase agricultural goods and services. Farmers will receive two types of cards: an agriculture card which can be used to fund plowing works’ and a new “agrocard” (plastic banking card) which can be used to purchase farming goods.

State-owned LLC Mekanizatori and 117 approved contractors will conduct spring works for land-poor farmers, which include ploughing and other services with farming machinery.

The 2013 program applied to 710,000 farmers, with land sites of up to 5 ha.