May 30, 2018


Kareli Municipality: The municipality is situated in the centre part of Shida Kartli and covers 111,000 ha[1]. Agricultural lands in Kareli Municipality cover 36,407 ha[2], including 18,302 ha of arable lands, 4,678 ha of perennial plantations, 1,764 ha of hayfields and 11,762 ha of pastures. Forest area covers 26,746 ha. The population of Kareli municipality is 51,600, and the main economic activity of the municipality is horticulture. Agriculture provides 70% of the population’s livelihood. Kareli is suffering from severe land degradation due to water and wind erosion (8,677 ha), and salinization (450 ha)[3]. 80% of windbreaks have been destroyed. Key crops include wheat, corn and barley. Horticulture plays an important role in the agriculture sector. Farmers grow apple, pear, and peach.


42,187 live in agricultural households (Agricultural Census of Georgia. GeoStat, 2014) in Kareli. These households are main force involved in agricultural production consisting of 12,516 household holdings, which make-up 99.7% of agricultural holdings (12,548). Arable land (12,386 ha) is the dominant land category operated by agricultural holdings (69.6%), followed by natural meadows and pastures (15.9%), land under permanent crops (14.5%) and greenhouses (0.006%). The total land operated by agricultural holdings under annual crops occupy 9,618 ha, from which grain cereals are sown on 4,979 ha dominated by barley. A considerable area of arable land is used for cultivation of vegetables (2,059 ha) and beans, peas, oats, etc. (1,678 ha). Uncultivated land equals to 22.3% of thetotal arable land. Currently, in Kareli municipality, 7.2% of agricultural land operated by agricultural holdings (1,297 ha) is in need of irrigation water, which severely impacts the production capacity of those lands. 


Animal husbandry is the second field of agriculture after plant production in Kareli, which uses the considerable part of the agricultural land, especially pastures and hay lands, but also require asubstantial area of arable land for fodder production. In Kareli beekeeping is an important field of agriculture as well accounting 2,569 beehives.


In Kareli Municipality:

  • Land productivity is severely reduced on approximately 8,000 ha of agricultural land due to unsustainable irrigation practices;
  • About 150 ha agricultural land is degraded due to waterlogging;
  • About 8,677 ha of land is suffering from severe land degradation due to water and wind erosion, and 450 ha of land is salinized;
  • 30 years ago, 601 ha of the territory was covered by windbreaks, similar to Gori, 80% has been destroyed.


[1]Some northern territories of the Kareli municipality are part of a self-proclaimed republic of South Ossetia (currently under de-facto control of Russian Federation) and have not been under control of the Georgian government since 2008.

[2]The agricultural land of 36,407ha lays within an area of roughly 66,800 ha (out of total 111,000 ha) of the Kareli municipality that remains under direct control of the Georgian government.

[3] Regional Development Strategy of Shida Kartli (Khashuri, Kareli, Gori, Kaspi Municipalities) Region for 2014-2021 // Approved by the Government of Georgia – Ordinance #1364 of September 17, 2013.