Margvelashvili Giorgi » Agricultural land

Shall foreign citizens be allowed or not to purchase agricultural land in Georgia?

Nowadays, the land is a resource of special importance. Global challenges of the planet and the annual decrease in agricultural land volumes make our soil resources even more dear and care-worthy. When we talk about the land, we should consider not just some section of a certain area, but a resource, that needed hundreds of years to form as a fertile soil. Therefore, on one hand, the land is a matter of governmental importance. On the other hand, we have to consider the special relationship, which farmers have towards the land – for them the land is not just a means for income. Their identity is connected to the land, the place where their ancestors lived, and the past. They are land-workers and perceive themselves in relation towards the land. The government has to support such people and give them an opportunity to keep living in their villages, doing their favorite job, but at the same time have their life be meaningful and interesting - not tiring and futile labor, when peasants can’t sell hard-earned harvest. This is what the government is responsible to support.

Regarding selling the lands to foreigners, the problem isn’t the nationality of the person, buying the land, but how he takes care of the public resource and how he uses it. Does he benefit the locals? If we are dealing with cutting down big areas of woods and exhausting the soils, it is of no importance, whether it was a Georgian who did it, or a foreigner. The politics of the previous government made living in the village unbearable for farmers and those had to sell to foreigners their lands, which they couldn’t benefit from themselves. What we need is not to prohibit selling the lands to foreigners, but give alternative choices to farmers.   

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