On 29 October 2014 at the plenary session of the Parliament, Temur Chkuaseli, Majoritarian MP of Chokhatauri, declared: “We invite you all to the inauguration of a very strong and notable enterprise in Guria’s village of Laituri which will take place at the end of November. An enterprise is going to be opened which will take over the processing of all kinds of fruit.”

FactCheck

took interest in the accuracy of this statement and checked it out.

As Temur Chkuaseli claimed in the conversation with FactCheck,

an enterprise is going to be opened as a part of the activities of a project supporting rural development with a particular focus on Georgia’s poorer and disadvantaged regions.

According to the information of the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia, the Rural Development Support Project features a co-financing component. The project is being conducted by the Agricultural Projects’ Management Agency and financed by the state budget.

The project aims to increase the quality of primary agricultural production, improve the means for creating cooperative societies, develop the raw materials base and increase the income of the rural population.

Three financing sources are defined within the activities of this project:

  • Preferential long-term bank loan or leasing – maximum 50% of the total cost of the project
  • Converging loan grant – 40% of the total cost of the project
  • Contribution of beneficiary – minimum 10% of the total cost of the project

Financing activities by means of a bank loan or leasing may not exceed USD 500,000. Whereas in case of parallel loans, the total amount of loans and leasing may not exceed USD 500,000.

We contacted the Agricultural Projects’ Management Agency in order to obtain more information about the enterprise referred to by Temur Chkuaseli. According to the Agency’s information, the Agricultural Product Processing Enterprises Co-Funding project has not funded the aforementioned enterprise in the village of Laituri. This fact was also confirmed by the Head of the Municipality of Ozurgeti. For more information we also contacted Giorgi Chkonia, the Ministry of Agriculture’s Information Service Manager of the Municipality of Ozurgeti, who also had no information about the enterprise in Laituri.

Although there is no information about a fruit processing enterprise in Laituri, the information obtained from the Agricultural Projects’ Management Agency indicates that a similar kind of enterprise is being constructed in the village of Anaseuli in Guria as a part of the aforementioned co-financing project.

In view of the fact that the enterprise is being constructed in Guria’s Municipality of Ozurgeti, we assume that Temur Chkuaseli was mistaken whilst mentioning the name of the village of Laituri when, in fact, he meant Anaseuli.

The new enterprise in Anaseuli is aiming to process substandard fruit based on Anaseuli Experimental Tea Factory. The enterprise will produce a fruit puree product which will be purchased in its entirety by the LLC Askaneli Brothers. The total amount of investment is USD 971,961 (the grant is USD 388,000 and the loan is USD 486,000). The raw materials used in the enterprise will be 100% local. The enterprise will be staffed by the LLC Anaseuli Experimental Tea Factory where nine people are currently employed. The project intends to produce nearly USD 368,427 worth of product annually. According to the information obtained from the administration of the Governor of Guria, the fruit processing enterprise in Anaseuli will be opened in 2015.

Conclusion The construction of a substandard fruit processing enterprise in the village of Laituri has not been confirmed by the information of the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia, the Head of the Municipality of Ozurgeti or the Ministry of Agriculture’s Information Service of the Municipality of Ozurgeti. A similar construction is taking place in the region of Guria but in the village of Anaseuli by means of co-financing project. Accordingly, FactCheck

assumes that Temur Chkauseli meant exactly the enterprise construction going on in Anaseuli.

Further, Mr Chkauseli was also mistaken in the date of the enterprise’s launch. In particular, he said that the enterprise was going to be opened at the end of November 2014 whilst the information of the Governor of Guria tells that the enterprise will be opened in 2015.

Naturally, FactCheck

welcomes the establishment of new enterprises in the country’s regions. The pathos of the deputy’s statement, however, accentuating the power and prestige of the enterprise, seems exaggerated. As the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia informed us, the enterprise is being constructed based on Anaseuli Experimental Tea Factory and will employ nine people currently working in the aforementioned factory. The power and prestige of the enterprise, as underlined by the deputy, have not been not confirmed by the investment or the annual amount of production.

Our investigation shows that Temur Chkuaseli erred in some information concerning the construction of the fruit processing enterprise in his region. The fact of the construction itself, however, is confirmed.

Accordingly, Temur Chkuaseli’s statement: “We invite you all to the inauguration of a very strong and notable enterprise in Guria’s village of Laituri which will take place at the end of November. An enterprise is going to be opened which will take over the processing of all kinds of fruit,” is HALF TRUE.

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