The Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture, Otar Shamugia, together with the State Representative of Kakheti Region Irakli Shioshvili, met with local farmers.
Farmers have taken advantage of preferential agro-credits this year to grow annual crops.
“Increasing the self-sufficiency rate of wheat is a priority for us. “We talked to farmers about their needs and what we can do to have a specific support project in the fall that will help increase wheat production in the country and improve our self-sufficiency,” said Otar Shamugia, the Minister of Environment and Agriculture.
At the meeting with the farmers, it was mentioned that the purpose of the loans under the preferential agro-credit for growing annual crops is to reduce the cost of working capital for growing annual crops and to enable them to bring more quality agricultural products.
From March 22 of the current year, 4,305 preferential loans of GEL 70.9 million have been issued to promote the cultivation of annual crops.
The Rural Development Agency is co-financing a 12-month interest rate loan under the Preferential Agro Credit project subcomponent. The maximum annual interest rate of the loan is set at 18%, half of which, 9% per annum, is financed by the state. Under the project, the loan amount per beneficiary is set at GEL 5,000 to GEL 100,000.
At the meeting with the farmers, the head of the Caucasus Regional Environmental Center (REC Caucasus), Sopho Akhobadze, noted that the centre, with the support of the Ministry, is implementing three projects.
These projects include the promotion of local wheat varieties, the introduction of new wheat sowing technology, and the use of a seed-replacing approach that reduces soil depletion.