Zurab Girchi Japaridze: “Nearly half of the population employed in agriculture cannot produce even 10% of the GDP.”
Verdict: FactCheck concludes that Zurab Girchi Japaridze’s statement is TRUE.
Resume: In accordance with the National Statistics Office of Georgia, the share of agriculture in the GDP was 6.5% in 2019. In 2020, this figure increased to 8.4% as agricultural output remained almost the same whilst other fields showed a sharp drop. The agricultural sector accounts for 39% of the total employment in Georgia.
Of note is that in developed countries, the share of agriculture in the GDP is within a 2% margin whilst the agriculture to the GDP ratio is higher in developing countries.
On 13 May 2021, Zurab Girchi Japaridze made a publication on his Facebook account, addressing Vasil Hudak, the new adviser to the Prime Minister. Mr Japaridze wrote in his publication: “It has been years that we are spending billions in agriculture only because of political expediency, although nearly half of the population employed in this field cannot produce even 10% of the GDP.”
Since 2013, over GEL 2 billion has been spent from the budget on agriculture. Nevertheless, the share of agriculture in Georgia’s GDP has been shrinking annually except for 2020 when agricultural output remained almost the same whilst other sectors showed a sharp drop. Therefore, its share in total GDP increased.
Graph 1: Georgia’s Agriculture Share in GDP and the Ministry of Agriculture Budget in 2013-2020, GEL Million
Currently, there are 659,000 people employed in agriculture which constitutes 39% of the total employment. Therefore, 659,000 people created 8.4% of the GDP in 2020.
Generally, the share of agriculture in the GDP does not exceed 2% in developed countries. The situation is different in the developing countries, including Georgia. Graph 2 shows the agriculture to the GDP ratio in 2020 for developing countries such as Sweden, the Netherlands, France, Norway and Italy whilst Moldova, Tunisia, Honduras and Mongolia are shown as examples of developing countries.
Graph 2: Agriculture to GDP Ratio by Country
Source: World Bank