On 15 January 2014, the Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Gharibashvili, held a meeting with the Georgian business sector. At the meeting Gharibashvili paid attention to the situation of the agricultural sphere and spoke about the project implemented by the Georgian Government in this respect. According to the PM, starting from spring 2013 the Government introduced a programme of agricultural credits for supporting businessmen operating in the agricultural sphere. The Rural and Agricultural Development Fund co-finances about 9-12% of the interest rates of the agricultural credits issued by Georgian banks to farmers. Gharibashvili stated:  “Vigorous work is underway for providing land-reclamation service to agricultural lands. A programme has been developed for the modernisation of land-reclamation systems and is currently being implemented.” The Prime Minister explained that the implementation of this programme, as well as other programmes, encouraged the production of primary goods and created new jobs.


took interest in the ongoing programme of the modernisation of reclamation systems and decided to look deeper into the issue.

In order to obtain the respective information, we addressed the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia. Based on the letter received from the Ministry, we found out that the programme of the restoration and modernisation of reclamation systems is being implemented since 2011. In 2013, based on Resolution No. 122 of the Government of Georgia dated 29 January 2013 on Increasing the Capital and Allocating Funds for the Purpose of Partial Subsidisation to the United Amelioration System Company of Georgia, Ltd., activities aimed at the improvement of the aforementioned programme took their start.

The ongoing rehabilitation programme of the reclamation infrastructure encompasses the following:

  • Rehabilitation and operational activities of the main irrigation canals, switchgears of the first and other categories, irrigation systems and inner logistics networks.
  • Rehabilitation and operational activities of the drainage systems, main irrigation canals, watershed collectors of the first and other categories, inner logistics canals and networks.

Based upon the information of the Ministry of Agriculture:

  • The planning and examination of the rehabilitation units has mainly been finalised.
  • The tenders are announced on all units envisioned within the framework of the 2013 programme.
  • The rehabilitation processes are in progress as well as their technical and copyright supervision.
  • The completion of the rehabilitation processes is planned within the specific dates as defined by the projects (the letter from the Ministry contains no information about these dates).

also took interest in the situation of the previous years as well as in the funds allocated for the rehabilitation and modernisation of the reclamation systems. We withdrew the respective statistical data from the Ministry of Agriculture as presented below:

  • Funds allocated for the rehabilitation-modernisation processes of the reclamation systems:


No amount was allocated in respect to the rehabilitation processes during these years



GEL 3,280,000


GEL 6,776,000

  • Funds allocated for updating agricultural equipment:


GEL 419,000


GEL 79,000


GEL 445,000


GEL 3,635,000

As for the funding provided to the United Amelioration System Company of Georgia, Ltd. from the state budget of 2013 on the basis of Resolution No. 1602, dated 27 November 2013, they are as follows:



Total Expenses for Rehabilitation Services, Including:

GEL 45,052,194



GEL 35,823,737



GEL 2,588,230


Project expertise and supervision

GEL 6,640,227


Purchase of reclamation equipment

GEL 3,547,606

Total budget expenses

GEL 48,599,800

In addition, a note in the letter explores further that based on Decree No. 112 of the Ministry of Finances, dated 11 April 2012, a detailed report on the annual implementation of the planned activities should be finalised by 1 March 2014.

The ongoing processes in the agricultural sector in respect to reclamation were positively evaluated by the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC). Their report, entitled Agriculture Projects - Achievements and Problems,

mentions that Georgia’s rural policy has undergone significant changes since 2013 when the Georgian Government prioritised the sphere. The report examines in detail all of the processes implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture in this respect:

  • In 2013 the rehabilitation processes of the united reclamation systems were initiated on 195 units; of this number, 180 units have already been rehabilitated.
  • Main irrigation canals and first category switchgears of a total of 680 km in length, the switchgears of different categories up to 3,000 km and drainage system canals up to 148 km have been cleaned and repaired.
  • The cleaning of the inner logistics network was conducted with state resources for the first time; currently, a total of 1,000 km of the abovementioned network has been cleaned.
  • Practically all of the larger main canals and switchgears throughout the country have been cleaned. The repairing of the abovementioned canals is planned to be conducted by the end of the irrigation season; these activities have not been implemented for the last 20-25 years.
  • The state-of-the-art land drilling machines have been purchased with a total cost of GEL 3.6 million. The United Amelioration System Company of Georgia, Ltd. was equipped with equipment worth GEL 4.5 million.
  • Water is running in all systems except the Tbisi-Kumisi irrigation system and the irrigation season has started.

Despite the fact that the EPRC positively evaluates the rehabilitation process of the irrigation systems, the EPRC report also mentions that the problems concerning reclamation cannot be resolved with one-time programmes and activities. The institutional development in this respect, as well as establishing an optimal structure and the involvement of the private sector in these processes, is necessary.


In the course of examining the issue it has been established that a programme for the modernisation of land-reclamation systems is indeed being implemented in the agricultural sector. It is also of importance to note that the project has not been developed after the change of the government. It started in 2011 with relevant resources having been allocated for the programme in each year from the state budget. This significant circumstance is overlooked in Irakli Gharibashvili’s statement. In 2013, the government issued a resolution with the aim of subsidising and increasing the capital of the indicated programme. The resolution allotted GEL 48,599,800 for the rehabilitation-improvement of the land-reclamation infrastructure which is several times greater than the amount earmarked for the purpose in the past years. Therefore, the present government improved and not developed the said programme, as claimed by the Prime Minister.

Therefore, FactCheck concludes that Irakli Gharibashvili’s statement: “Vigorous work is underway for providing land-reclamation service to agricultural lands. A programme has been developed for the modernisation of land-reclamation systems and is currently being implemented,” is MOSTLY TRUE.