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On 31 October 2014, at the plenary session of the Parliament of Georgia, Chairman of the Agrarian Issues Committee of the Parliament, Gigla Agulashvili, stated: “Up to 80 tonnes of rice has been harvested in Georgia for the first time this year.”

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took interest in this statement and verified its accuracy.

In order to clarify the matter, we addressed the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia and found that rice was harvested in the Municipality of Abasha in 2013 and 2014. For detailed information, we contacted the Government of the Municipality of Abasha. According to the data received from them and the data we found on the website of the municipality, after almost a century and a half, rice was planted in the municipality of Abasha in 2013; specifically, in the village of Zanati. The Zanagro Company planted rice on eleven hectares in 2013 and harvested eight tonnes per hectare which amounted to 88 tonnes. The company invited Turkish agronomists for consultations on rice growing matters. The Zanagro Company used the whole harvest for planting (seed rice) and additionally bought a combine harvester which will also be available to the population of the region in the future.

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also contacted the Director of the Zanagro Company, Kakha Malania. According to him, Zanagro is an agrarian profile industrial complex which was founded in 2012. The company harvested corn and soy beans in 2012. This was a test after which the company started producing rice. According to Mr Malania, production of rice as a foodstuff is the company’s planned perspective and the technological and marketing details have already been arranged. As for the rice harvest, the company planted rice on eleven hectares in both 2013 and 2014 and collected a total of ten tonnes per hectare which amounted to 88 tonnes per year. As Mr Malania told us, increasing the rice harvest and producing the final product in the form of rice as a foodstuff depends upon the purchase of rice processing technologies and the construction of a full production complex. The company was unable to buy the technologies at this stage but they hope to fulfil all of their plans in the nearest future.

Conclusion

The Zanagro Company planted rice on eleven hectares in the village of Zanati in the Municipality of Abasha in 2013. The harvest was eight tonnes per hectare that year. Rice was planted on the same area in 2014 and the amount of the harvest was the same, equalling 88 tonnes. The company has been producing rice in Georgia for two years already. The harvest is used only for planting (seed rice) at the moment. The company plans to purchase rice processing technologies for the future and extend its production to produce the final product – rice as a foodstuff.

Based upon the aforementioned facts, FactCheck concludes that Gigla Agulashvili’s statement: “Up to 80 tonnes of rice has been harvested in Georgia for the first time this year,” is MOSTLY TRUE.

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