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Church calls for rescue of agriculture2009-01-08 10:09
Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II's Christmas Epistle did not omit the severe problems the country is facing.
It was not only a traditional appeal for repentance, sincere penitence and true love for the Almighty but a reference to the modernity, the problems of global economic crisis and the state of Georgian economy.
"A very difficult time is in store for us. Though Georgia has always had difficult times throughout its existence the people's faith used to be steadier and the hardships were fewer. Now the people had to endure all the severity of the interim post-Soviet period, unemployment, famine, war, change of moral criteria, the inflow of violence and lies. Unfortunately tomorrow does not promise a better future as the world is overtaken by the global economic crisis that can grow into a system crisis as the existing system can be soon replaced by another, a fundamentally new system", - the patriarch pronounced.
According to him, today's market is not controlled by production of goods and provision of services but by the money and if this consumer process is not brought to stop the whole world will end up in front of a catastrophe.
The patriarch noted that the West had realized this threat and many countries had already set a course for reinforcement of the state-owned sector in economy and efficient mechanisms of state regulation of the domain.
In the current situation Ilia II thinks it necessary for Georgia to develop industry, agriculture and processing sector that in spite of some positive results are still having a lot of problems.
Among these he mentioned the problem of preservation of traditionally national grape and wheat sorts that now are under the threat of extinction in the first place.
"For our ancestors wine and bread were related with the Savior's flesh and blood apart from their direct application, and a Georgian peasant had a special attitude to them", - the patriarch said.
According to him today Georgian peasants are offered considerable sums of money for cutting down the vine nurtured as a child and planting another crop. Peasants lose interest in growing grapes as they are unable to sell them at normal prices, and are paid miserable sums in return.
The solution to the problem in Ilia II's opinion is the state export of pure grape wine produced by peasant farms.
The situation with the production of local sorts of wheat that accounts for 9% of overall volume of wheat consumed in the country is even worse.