Interest in greenhouses has recently
increased, but the sector’s development is hampered by high costs and staff shortages.
Experts say several projects have been carried out with the government support but
they are insufficient to solve the problem of food self-sufficiency and reduce
dependence on imports.
According to Koba Kobaladze, the head of the International Association for Agricultural Development, the greenhouse business still remains one of the most interesting fields for medium and large investors. The main motivation for the interest is the increase in the production of vegetable crops, especially early vegetables.
"Modern greenhouses are equipped with special equipment, with the help of which it is possible to create optimal temperature, humidity, lighting for plant development and get the maximum yield. The greenhouses in Georgia are mainly analogues of Israeli and German. Greenhouse sector is not developed in Georgia due to high cost, namely heating occupies about 70% of the total expenses," - Kobaladze says and adds that the greenhouse industry was at a high level and it is important to revive this tradition that will be a step towards food security.
Another problem is the staff shortages.
Paata Rachvelishvili, a businessman living in Gardabani, says that he is trying to train the staff. In the municipality he owns a wood workshop and a greenhouse.
"Now we are trying to solve this problem. We face a shortage of specialists, professional staff is the biggest problem. "Bringing specialists from the capital requires a lot of money, so we chose to train and employ locals, we hired all the staff like this," the businessman explains.
Note: the greenhouse sector is considered to be a traditional export sector of Western Georgia. The Ministry of Agriculture announced the creation of a greenhouse cluster in the region, in particular, in Tskaltubo in November last year and an active working is underway. With the government support, Herbia Ltd. has created a greenhouse equipped with modern standards to grow different greens. The total cost of the project was GEL 3,000,000, of which GEL 592,000 was a grant and GEL 1,050,000 was a preferential agro-credit. Currently, the greenhouse employs 150 people.
Within the "United Agro Project", two new greenhouses were built in the Imereti region and 34 were expanded.
International organizations also make some contribution to the development of greenhouses industry. USAID launched Zrda Greenhouse Management Program (USAID / Zrda) in Marneuli, under which 123 greenhouses were set up with a total area of 75,501 square meters.