Georgia for Grab
16 August, 2012
Georgia for Grab


Agriculture land, acquisition in Georgia became available to non-residents due to liberal changes in the law on agriculture lands, introduced this summer. Georgian experts worry this super-liberal approach is equal to high treason as it puts the entire country for grab and lays ground to demographic expansion of other ethnicities in Georgia at the expense of infringing the rights of local people.


“Amendment to the law on Agriculture Lands Ownership admitting land divesture to foreign citizens equals to divesture of Georgia

and is a crime against the indigenous nation,” Paata Koguashvili, a former MP and  agriculture expert, said. “Constitutional Court of Georgia is the body that committed this crime on June 27, 2012 when settled the case of Hayek Kronkkwist [citizen of Denmark] against Georgian parliament [disputing land ownership right]  in favor to Danish citizen.”

The Constitutional Court acknowledged paragraphs in the law on Agriculture Land Ownership restricting and prohibiting land ownership rights to non-residents in Georgia as non-constitutional. Justification for the amendment was super-liberal: the questioned restrictions violated human rights that are equal to all irrespective citizenship.

Meantime the removed paragraphs granting ownership rights on agriculture lands to Georgian citizens as well as legal entities registered in Georgia were much milder than similar regulations in developed world prohibiting divesture of lands to non-resident legal entities, Koguashvili assures.

“There was no restriction in fact. The late Primer Zurab Zhvania initiated the change to allow non-resident legal entities to buy land in ownership in 1996 when he was a Speaker at parliament while the western law absolutely prohibits land divesture to legal entities. It has been kept in similar spirit since then. In 2007 Georgian parliament mandated the President to divest lands to foreigners at his own discretion by putting a signature. And the Constitutional Court crowned the anti-national move now,” Koguashvili said in the interview with Georgian Journal.

Nobody can say how much of Georgian lands are already sold to foreigners for lands registration/cadastre is not implemented since 2004 when authority revoked management department. The UN special service warned Georgian government to restore the service but to no avail. Now only privatized lands are registered and out of 3 million 25 thousand hectares (ha) of agriculture land fund [based on old statistics] only 850 thousand of privatized lands are registered according to official statistics.  About 30-40 thousand ha is already divested on foreigners without any clear reasoning and much more is in store apparently due to the recent change leaving the country vulnerable to demographic expansion risks. Georgian authorities have already successfully practiced expropriation of lands in tourist zones through infringing rights of local people. The seized lands are eventually divested to foreign investors. But experts say lands-sale alone is no investment but deprivation of local population of their living source.

Koguashvili assures such pseudo-liberal land disposal may ultimately transmit Georgian people into minority in their own country.

However the hazardous decision came in force without much noise overlapped by the ongoing rampant pre-election campaign buzz and fuss. Authorities chose a right moment to slip the most dangerous changes off the public sight.

“This hazardous process is going on relatively noiseless but by essence it equals to loss of national identity, it befits to Georgian society to react as soon as possible because the process can be catastrophic and irretrievable soon,” Koguashvili elaborates. “Maybe at the moment the jeopardy of making Georgian historical ethnographic population into minority seems not clear but it will be inevitable after a sufficient basis for demographic expansion is created. I mean settlement of several hundred people of other ethnicity on Georgian lands would be quite a ground for that. Therefore it is inacceptable to make Georgian peasantry torn from lands and be not the owner and key producer of product here.”

Nobody sells agriculture lands globe over even the most liberal countries. Small lands-deficient countries [to which classification Georgia belongs too] do not allow acquisition of even urban lands.

”Let’s take Israel. You cannot buy a single meter of land there, you can buy a house but not the land spot where the dwelling house or whatever building stands on,” Ditrikh Muller, a legal expert and co-founder of Georgian Investments Group, said. “Admitting divesture of agriculture lands in Georgia is a high treasure, it undermines Georgian national spirit. Georgia means a land-worker nation in Greek and once deprived of land it will lose its identification and self-respect. The authors of this initiative can go to Mtastminda pantheon [Holy Mountain sacred pantheon where the bright minds of Georgia are buried] and spit on the grave of Ilia Chavchavadze, the father of the nation who created a bank of noblemen of Georgia in 19th century to spare lands from divesture. And now behold, lands are for grab.”

According to Koguashvili, in developed world the state handles very carefully with agriculture lands, has a special strategy and diligently researches each divesture case even to its own citizens. The EU theoretically allows its member-state citizens to purchase lands within the EU space but practically it is almost impossible for multiple preferences [for locals] and requirements. The newly joined EU member-states announced a 10-15-year moratorium and suspended divesture of lands on non-residents completely.

The US admits lands divesture to foreign citizens but each case is discussed by the US Agriculture Ministry and solved on the state level. The more agriculture-oriented the state is the stronger restrictions and prohibitions it puts out on land divesture like future proprietors education skills in agriculture, living experience in rural area, capital resources etc. As a result only 0.7% of agriculture lands are owned by foreign citizens.

Sector pundits believe the super-liberal approach of Georgia in land issue must be cut out too in line with the best world practice. As far as nobody can revoke the constitutional court decision,  Koguashvili believes the only way-out is change of existing power when a new parliament will approve new land law and disposal strategy.


Other Stories
Anaklia Port and its importance for Georgia
In 2016, Anaklia Development Consortium was authorized to launch the construction of Anaklia Port.
Cryptocurrency mining threatens electrical network in Abkhazia
In the breakaway region of Akbhazia rampant cryptocurrency mining is threatening the shaky electrical network, reports an article of the news portal EuroNet.
Caucasus Wine University to be opened in Gurjaani
In the Kakheti region a new viticulture campus of the Caucasus University is in the process of planning.
Photos describing life of the poorest in Georgia
Fight with poverty should be among top priorities of every government in every country.
Training farmers to rescue the organic hazelnut production in Georgia
Even drizzling rain and unpleasant gusts of wind can’t prevent the farmers from coming and participating in the agricultural training.
Bleak times for organic farmers in Georgia – but there is hope
Organic hazelnut production is a delicate plant in Georgia that has emerged just a couple of years ago. Various pests, among them the Asian stink bug Parosana, trouble hazelnut farmers and menace their livelihood – even before their businesses could really take off.
Hybrid car imports are going through the roof in Georgia
Thanks to their fuel economy, the popularity of hybrid cars is increasing in Georgia, where fuel affordability is low and prices for fuel are unstable.
The New Year offer from MAQRO Construction - Apartments with unbelievable discounts and the parking spaces for FREE!
Location, green yard, spaces for various needs, experience of the construction company and parking space are the main important criteria for potential buyers of apartments.
Interview with the co-founder of Kiwi Vegan Café – the first vegan place in Tbilisi
Behind the Kiwi Vegan Café stands a group of activists who wants to raise Georgian’s awareness for animal rights and welfare.
Biblusi opens first shop for tourists - Georgian
The largest book shop in Georgia Biblusi opens the first shop specially designated to the needs and interests of tourists and named it Georgian.
Georgia improves by five ranks in the Prosperity Index
In the overall Prosperity Index rankings, Georgia has climbed by 5 positions from 85 to 80 when compared to last year. As such, Georgia is the best performing country in the CIS zone.
The future is bright for electric cars in Georgia
The numerous hybrid cars in the streets of Tbilisi cannot be overlooked. Entrepreneur Sulkhan Gvalia calls them “pagers”, referring to the predecessor of mobile phones.
Georgia’s fight against the big tiny enemy – Asian Parosana
It’s a tiny creature, but the harm it did to the Georgian agriculture sector was and still is immense.
New cable route: from Kobi to Gudauri in 15 minutes
On the 15th of December, cable transport is scheduled to be opened connecting Kobi and Gudauri.
Tourist boom in Gudauri – majority of hotels are booked by foreigners
Gudauri is among the most popular winter resorts in Georgia.
Medical tourism increases in Georgia
In the last 9 months, Georgia was visited by 19 500 foreigners for medical and recovery purposes.
Doing business in Georgia has become easier than in America
According to the Doing Business 2019 report published by the World Bank, Georgia ranked 6th among 190 countries in terms of simplicity of doing business. This was an improvement over two ranks compared to last year.
Problems that foreigners frequently face in Georgia
The importance of Georgia as a tourism hub is growing year after year.
Tbilisi TV Broadcasting Tower – Better than the Eiffel Tower?
It is planned to renovate the Tbilisi TV Broadcasting Tower, one of the landmarks in the capital.
Georgian Fusion Menu by The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi
5,895,914 international visitors have visited Georgia between January and August of 2018. Compared to the previous year the number has increased by 12.2 per cent.
Advertising of gambling and lucrative games may become banned in Georgia
Advertising of gambling and lucrative games may become banned in Georgia. Those who violate the new rule would be fined GEL 10 000.
Lebanese café-lounge Beirut opens in Tbilisi
What is necessary to organize an unforgettable event? – Fun, emotions, lots of surprises, good music and delicious menu.
Georgia second among the fastest growing tourist destinations in Europe
Georgia is among the fastest growing tourist destinations in Europe. The data is published by the UN World Tourism Organization.
Bitmain launches world digital mining summit in Tbilisi, Georgia
Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu and Roger Ver, CEO of Head Speaker List featuring Circle, and Genesis Mining when Digital Mining Leaders Convene In Tbilisi on September 21-23
TBC Bank and Gazelle Finance have teamed-up to support Medical City, a leading healthcare provider in the western region of Georgia to launch the Western Regional Center Of Modern Medical Technologies.

Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Other Stories
Recently Toyota rolled out Global Campaign under this slogan that reflects the Olympic and Paralympic Spirit of Encouragement,
A couple from Switzerland combines Swiss tradition and technology with Georgian products. Their cheese is made in the Georgian mountains and sold in local stores and hotels.
It has been more than five years since the residents of Lilo village, near Tbilisi, cannot open their windows.
63 000 GEL was received by the Georgian Agro Export Group which is just a small part of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agricultural and Rural development.
Georgian entrepreneur Guka Tavberidze, who runs his own business in the UK and does it quite well, has been invited by BBC
The grand opening of 7-star The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi took place in Georgia’s capital on July 31.
DUSHETI, Georgia – The Georgian government and the World Bank will allocate USD 5.6 million (12 million GEL) to fund
A new Georgian clothing brand named Person has emerged in Georgian market.
Georgia is in the midst of an economic maelstrom, Euronews reports.
Situation at Georgia’s mineral water market is interesting: over the last year, the volume of export has grown by 56 percent. According to “GeoStat”, over $114 million worth of mineral water was sold
GEL Exchange
January 2019
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31