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Zugdidi that steals honey should beware of crocodiles2010-12-03 18:25
The idea of raising crocodiles in Zugdidski region of Georgia has failed. Two years ago, four caimans hatched out of the Argentine eggs in the village of Tsaishi but only three of them survived. They are still unable to get used to the cool climate of Svanetia and would not propagate. Another German-Georgian crocodile farm, Zhakar, where 50 reptiles were allegedly brought last year, has totally vanished. Instead, according to Ministry of Agriculture, the frog business is flourishing, though Armenia has given it up because of unprofitability.
Georgian media is weeping over the crocodile. The death of the caiman at the Fasis Plant farm killed the hopes for the enormously profitable business. The maintenance of one reptile costs less than 10 laris a month, while the production of this branch is estimated valued at thousands of laris. Crocodiles grow until they are three years old. By that time, they put on about 12-18 kilos of meat that can be sold at the price of 60 euro per kilo, while the skin goes for 500 euro at the black market and for 5000 euro when supplied under license.
Unfortunately, the gold vein of the Fasis Plant company did not pay for itself. Earlier, representative of the company Irakli Chokolaya assured that the sharp-toothed pets would like the thermal waters springing from under the ground in Tsaishi. However, the pets did not properly appreciate the balneotherapeutic health resort in the mountain area where the average summer temperature does not exceed 21 degrees. Besides, the water containing hydrogen sulfide that cures rheumatism and gynecologic diseases brought them into depression. One caiman died, while the other three still cannot acclimatize themselves and are obviously not planning to propagate.
Several months ago, Chokolaya affirmed that the country has got a 99-percent potential for creating crocodile farms. Such farms exist in Africa, Australia, Thailand, USA, Indonesia and in Papua New Guinea. However, it is easy to set up the conditions close to natural ones there, while in Georgia, especially in Samegrelo, which is far from subtropical Adzharia, huge farms with the all-year heating system need to be built. Besides, to get any profit, one "flock" should contain no less than 500 animal units instead of four.
Another enterprise, Georgian-German Zhakar, had much more chances to succeed. It was reported last March that 50 crocodiles were brought to the company farm in Zugdidi. 12 thousand euro was invested into the business. The Georgians made ambitious plans on meat and skin export to West Europe.