Agriculture is Georgia’s oldest and largest industry. It has played a dominant role in Georgia’s economy for many centuries.
For a long time, the Agriculture sector was Georgia’s primary economic sector.
Agriculture is a key business sector in the country with multiple opportunities for investments. Wine is the most important agricultural product for export, but other more marketable products such as honey or hazelnuts are becoming more successful.
Georgia has good natural resources and micro-climatic zones that are suitable for the growing of fruits and vegetables.
The reason why agriculture is among the best business investment opportunities in Georgia is the fairly low cost of doing business.
Water is not expensive and is easily accessible, and the same goes for energy and gas. In addition, the wages in the agricultural sector are lower than the national average.
Georgia is also a big exporter and has a free trade agreement with Turkey and Ukraine, and it widens your potential market.
Samegrelo is located in the central part of western Georgia, between the river Rioni, Enguri, Tskhenistskali, and the Black Sea, on the Kolkheti lowland, on the Caucasus Range, partly on the mountain line. Samegrelo is bordered with Svaneti and the Caucasus Ridge to the north, Racha to the northeast, Imereti to the east, Guria to the south, Abkhazia to the northwest, and the Black Sea to the west. The administrative center of the region is the city of Zugdidi. The largest river in the region is Khobistskali, which is 150 km long.
Svaneti is considered to be the highest populated region in the Caucasus. The 10 highest peaks of the Caucasus are in Svaneti. Among them is Shkhara (5 201 m) -the highest peak of Georgia-, Tetnuldi (4 974 m), Shota Rustaveli (4 960 m), Ushba (4 710 m), Ailama (4 525 m) and others.
Zemo Svaneti is the gorge of the Enguri River, from the Enguri headwater to the Samegrelo border. Zemo Svaneti was divided by Bali Ridge into Zemo Svaneti of Bali and Kvemo Svaneti of Bali. The administrative center of Zemo Svaneti is Mestia. With modern administrative-territorial divisions, Zemo Svaneti is included in Mestia municipality of the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region. In Zemo Svaneti, up to 2000 m above sea level, the climate is humid, winters are cold and long, and summers are short, warm, and sometimes hot.
In ancient times, Samegrelo was a part of the Kingdom of Colchis. Colchis completely covered the territory of the present-day western part of Georgia. Prior to the modern era, the region was also known as Lazika and Egrisi. Its political center was Archeopolis (or Nokalakevi). The myth of the Argonauts and the Golden Fleece is related to Nokalakevi. In the XI century, the western and eastern Georgia were united into one kingdom, which existed until the end of the XI century. From the middle of the XII century through the XIX century, Samegrelo was ruled by the representatives of the Dadiani family. Today the territory of the principality of historic Samegrelo is part of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti administrative region.
The Svans originally were settled in a more extensive area, and they held a significant part of Lechkhumi and Racha. Svans also lived in certain territories of present-day Samegrelo. In the early centuries, Svaneti was part of Colchis and then Egrisi Kingdoms. Svaneti was always independent until 1833 when it was subordinated to Russia. Svan towers refer to the tower houses built as defensive dwellings, common in the Georgian historical region of Svaneti, and today incorporated in Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti. The oldest ones date back to the 8th or 9th century, the newest one was built in the 18th century. A Svan tower is on average 20 to 25 meters high and has four or five, more rarely six floors.
The level of economic development varies significantly among seaside (Poti, Khobi), central, and mountainous areas (Mestia). Poti is the main gateway connecting Georgia with the outside world, with a significant share of the country’s trade turnover. The region’s economic recovery depends largely on the improvement of political relations with Abkhazia.
Tourism and culture
Samegrelo is a very interesting place with its historical past and customs. In all parts of Georgia, the ritual of weeping was very important. In this respect, the well-known tradition is the Megrelian “Zari”- a ritual song for the weeping of the dead. Samegrelo is also rich in Folklore. The most famous Megrelian folk song is “Megrelian Nana”.
Traditional Megrelian food is spicy and full of seasoning. Finally, spicy seasonings have become a traditional attribute of Megrelian cuisine. Megrelian Sulguni, Ajika, Satsivi are well-known; however, Elargi takes an advance position, which is made of Ghomi and Sulguni, and leaves no one indifferent. We must also mention wine. There are more than 500 sorts of vine cultivated in Georgia, and 60 are cultivated in Samegrelo.
Nature: Tobavarchkhili (Silver Lake), Little Toba (Okhoje Toba), Didgalish Toba, Kalalish Toba ,Tsakatskarish Toba, Kuakantsalia Kolkheti National Reserve, Katsoburi Managed Reserve, Intsra Waterfall, Oniore Waterfall, Tobi Waterfalls.Caves Shurubumu, Cave Zesnakhe, Cave Lake Paliastomi, Martvili Canyon.
Tobavarchkhili (Silver Lake)
Svaneti is a region with an ancient and interesting culture. Here -as in the whole mountainous regions of Georgia- pagan and Christian rituals, customs and traditions merge into each other and get a new, unique look. After the rituals, people gather around the fire and enjoy singing, dancing, wrestling, etc. The celebration of the souls of the dead, Lipanali, is also well-known. It is also worth noting Svan folklore with dances, highly artistic poetry and singing. The Svan Lile is well-known, which is dedicated to the god of the sun. In Svaneti, there are a lot of myths about goddesses, demons, magical creatures, also you will hear unbelievable hunting stories.
Svan cuisine is special and delicious. The special dishes are Kubdari and Chvishtari. Since Svaneti is particularly developed in livestock, the cuisine is distinguished by the diversity of meat dishes and dairy products. Svans drink vodka- Rakhi. From spices, Svan Salt is well-known.
Svaneti with its huge mountains and cliffs -harmoniously combined with villages and towers-, Georgian architecture, important examples of sculpture or painting, and centuries-old culture creates an indelible impression on the visitors. The nature of Svaneti is undoubtedly enchanting with Alpine meadows, cliffs, peaks, waterfalls, and beautiful Alpine lakes. This site is equally attractive for people interested in culture, for climbers, and for skiers. It is quite pleasant for staggering, for relaxation in the mountains, and for lovers of large-scale views.
Nature : Okrostskali Lakes, Tskhvandiri Lakes, Memuli Lake ,Lakumurash Toba, Shdugra Waterfall ,Chalaati Falling Ice ,Koruldi Lakes, Peak Laila ,Tskhumari Karst, Cavern Meziri Lake
Projects and plans
Intermunicipal and interregional tourism projects will be implemented in Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti.
Joint tourism projects were discussed at the meeting of Martvili and Khoni Municipalities. A working group will be created to present the results of the initial inquiries to new tourist routes, and existing needs within two weeks. Together with the Governor Administration and Municipalities, the working group includes geographers, speleologists, and field specialists. Priority selection is preferable to less known tourist objects.