Agrarian Issues Committee Hearing Activity Report on Structures of Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture
The Committee heard the 2021 Activity Reports by the LEPL National Food Agency and State Laboratory of Agriculture.
The report by the National Food Agency referred to three directions:
- Implementation of state control over food safety in the country;
- Epizootic well-being in the country;
- Plant protection and phytosanitary well-being in the country.
As Giorgi Khanishvili, First Deputy Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture noted, the National Food Agency operates in accordance with the strategy defined by the Ministry of Environment, whose priority areas are:
• Improving the market situation and introducing modern food safety standards and regulations;
• Exercising state control based on trust and justice;
• Protection of the country from various animal diseases and maintaining epizootic well-being;
• Protection of agricultural crops from plant pests;
• Cooperation with international organizations.
"Amid the pandemic, in addition to its regular duties, the National Food Agency performed a great deal of extra work. Despite this, we were able to complete the fiscal year 2021 effectively. Both the National Food Agency and the state laboratory have a significant role to play in a successful agricultural year and successful exports. It is the labor of their staff, as well as the principle of a single window, which encompasses customs and local government, that has resulted in the extraordinary growth of various crops, both in terms of value and natural figures. It is critical that the laboratory, which is becoming more powerful each year, continues to improve, and we will soon be granted the status of a reference laboratory, which will be recognized not only in Georgia but also throughout Europe", - Giorgi Khanishvili stated.
According to him, Georgia has experienced a particularly tough period in terms of the brown marmorated stink bug, and it is critical that the globe learn from Georgian experts' experience and management measures. "Our specialists are invited to share their experience in different countries of the world”, - the First Deputy Minister stated.
Giorgi Khanishvili noted about the commitments made with the European Union that all the actions of the services are aimed at the harmonization of the European and Euro-Atlantic space. According to him, the country has a plan to approximate 272 documents by 2027 and this plan will be successfully completed. According to Giorgi Khanishvili, budget expenditures are important for full implementation and stressed the importance of Parliament's support in this regard.
"We are doing everything we can to develop the foodservice so that local business may be as successful as possible in the market, switching to European markets, despite the hurdles provided by Russian aggression in Ukraine. Given Georgia's application for accelerated EU membership, we're attempting to cooperate with donors to fast gather resources and move on that path. Georgian agriculture faces a long road to victory; some programs have been in place for decades, and every step we take is guided by agreements and pledges. As a result, we are hoping for Parliamentary support”, - the First Deputy Minister stated.
Giorgi Khanishvili thanked the Parliament and the Committee for their support to the Ministry and its separate structures.
"We try our best to be transparent, to accept all the recommendations, and to be able to improve our work according to the recommendations we receive from the parliament in general”, - Giorgi Khanishvili stated.
Vasil Basiladze, Deputy Head of the National Food Agency, and Nikoloz Meskhi, Head of the Plant Protection Department informed the members of the Parliament about the implementation of state control over food safety and epizootic welfare in the country, as well as the protection of plants in the country.
Irakli Guledani, Director of the State Laboratory of Agriculture, spoke about the activities of the Georgian State Laboratory of Agriculture in 2021. The field of activity of the State Laboratory of Agriculture includes a unified cycle of diagnostics and includes both laboratory research of animals and plants, as well as food safety expertise. The session also focused on the importance of developing private laboratories in the field of agricultural research.
According to the Chair of the Committee, Nino Tsilosani, they received the really interesting and necessary information and noted that the Committee is still ready for cooperation.
The Committee took note of the reports submitted.