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Twin Brothers’ Business in Depopulated Village of Racha Region

Agriculture is the most ancient form of doing business that satisfies the need of food products. Consequently, in many countries agriculture is a leading sector of economy.

According to Geostat, national statistics service of Georgia, as of June 1, 2017, agriculture, hunting and forestry sector recorded 6423 business entities, including 1514 active ones, 1% of registered business bodies.

Demographic realities are one of the key factors in the business organization process, because efficient marketing decisions depend on changes in age and family structure, geographical movement of population, level of education and diversity of population.

According to the November 5, 2014 general census, a major part of population is registered in Tbilisi – 1 114 600 persons, and the lowest number of population was recorded in Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti – 31 000 persons.

Shota Metreveli is able to name a quantity of residents of the village of Bokva, Oni Municipality. After 18-month living in Tbilisi, Shota Metreveli decided to return to the village jointly with his twin brother Mirian Metreveli to launch business activities there: “From summer to Autumn, there are people here, while in winter period only four persons remain in the village – I, my brother and two aged persons”, he said.

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Why have the brothers decided to return to their home village, what factors make their farmer activities special, what problems they face and what they expect from the farmland in the future – Shota Metreveli talks about these issues for the Marketer.

Shota, why have you decided to migrate back to your village from Tbilisi and to launch agribusiness in the depopulated village?

-I and my brother were born in the village of Bokva, Oni District. We grew up there, finished public school there and then we have to leave for Tbilisi for part-time studies at economic faculty and working, but we could not find valuable job and after a long analysis, we decided to come back to Bokva again. Before taking this decision, time to time we used to arrive in our village in the spring-autumn period to make reserves of ham, for sales. Moreover, we wanted to arrange our own farm and we also thought of saving the village from depopulation. Therefore, we bought 5 cows and came back to the village.

Besides cattle-breeding, what other fields do you develop and where do you sell your products?

-We produce Imeretian cheese and sell the product in our district. We receive orders from Khachapuri bakeries, we supply products to Zemo Racha territory. We also keep bee, we have 3 hives. At this stage, we produce honey for only family needs, not for sales. In November when cheese production shrinks, we start sales of ham

What obstacles have you faced initially in the village and have you ever regretted your decision?

– Having returned to home, only house and walls had been left and we had to restore and renew everything. Yards were annihilated – there was awful picture here and we faced serious difficulties initially. In one moment we were close to rejecting our decision.

Moreover, in Bokva we lack for communication with people, we think of business only and cannot see friends, sister or parents. You are isolated entirely. Even one missed day will ruin everything. However, I do not regret to have come back to my village.
We start our working day at 06.30 o’clock in the morning. We started cattle-breeding business in July 2016. Currently, we have 21 cows, four pings and 27 sucking pigs, 2 horses and goats.

What are key problems before the farmers in Racha Region today?

– First of all, wild animals create major problems for farmers. For a month wild animals ate two cows and we lost the whole net profits. Wolves disturb us most of all, in lower villages, everywhere in our Region.

-What do you expect in the future?

-It is a little difficult to talk about the future today, for example, what will happen in 5 years. Anyway, I think we will have an arranged and valuable farmland, we will employ workers and I will have the time to care for other affairs. We will see how our business will be developed.