THE OPPORTUNITIES OF THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF BEEKEEPING AGRARIAN COOPERATIVES IN GEORGIA

Tina GELASHVILI

Maia GELASHVILI

The law on “Development of Cooperatives” was adopted in Georgia in 2013 to promote business-oriented agricultural cooperatives but in 2014, was established. the LEPL “Cooperative Development Agency” under the Ministry of Agriculture.

 The aim of the research was to study the development trends of cooperatives and their legal regulation mechanisms; Researching the problems and needs of beekeeping cooperatives; Analysis of   production and productivity indicators and identifying  opportunities to increase honey export potential.

Samtskhe-Javakheti beekeeping farmers and cooperatives (N:20) were selected as the object of the study. The research was conducted through pre-prepared, open and closed questionnaires.

The paper analyzes the dynamics of honey production and prices in Georgia, neighboring countries and EU markets, export-import balance and other economic indicators, which revealed a pessimistic picture of Georgia's acquisition of EU markets. Though, it should be noted that recently, the European market has seen an upward trend in demand for organic products, including honey.Georgian honey, especially alpine, polyflora one  is really highly competitive with its quality indicators and in case of proper volume growth it may occupy this niche in the European market.

On the base of  the research of beekeeping cooperatives and beekeeping farmers, the reasons hindering the development of beekeeping in Georgia have been identified and recommendations have been proposed, which will help the cooperatives  produce ecologically clean products, increase honey productivity, promote employment and increase the export potential of honey.

Key words: beekeeping cooperatives, honey productivity, retail prices, honey export-import.