Bread Is Main Consumer Commodity for Most Population
According to experts’ 2006 assessments, minimal salary in governmental institutions was 220 lari and in private offices it amounted to 190 lari. The living wage of a family is 175 lari. Nevertheless, consumer commodities in Samtskhe-Javakheti Region increase every year. The experts assess that the villagers’ income is over living wage.
“It is nice to give statistics on salaries but why do not you draw your attention to the fact that only 15 % of population get salaries. People do not work and I think it is ridiculous to compare the minimum salary with the consumer commodities,” said Leila Gogoladze, a resident of Akhaltsikhe.
Gocha Beridze, the head of the Akhaltsikhe Financial-Economical Service Department, said that living wage has increased in 20-25 lari in comparison to 2005. He thinks that the increase was caused by increased price on products. “All changes are temporary and the prices will fall down in autumn,” said Beridze.
“The government does not remember about us and now the nature also seems to abandon us. Although we have plots, sometimes drought and sometimes hail damage our plants and we cannot grow anything. Can you imagine how much effort does it take to grow up a cabbage? You have to attend to one cabbage at leas ten times,” said Giorgi Gogolauri, a resident of the village of Atskuri.
Consumer commodity for lonely person, Larisa Kirakisian, consists of only bread, sugar and macaroni. Her monthly income is 38 lari pension. Everyday she needs at least five lari to buy food; thus her pension is enough for seven days only. “One kilo of meat costs eight lari. I can buy it only on holidays and most time I am “fasting”, said Larisa Kirakisian.
Omar Jujunadze, director of the “Bazari” Ltd said that prices were increased particularly on corn, wheat and vegetable and only in 10%. One of the reasons, alongside the increased price on fuel, is reduced number of consumers in the market. “Last year, people were employed at the construction of Baku-Tbilisi-Cehyan pipe-line and they had money. The project finished and consequently people cannot buy food.”
Most population, who suffer from hard social situation, buys only above-mentioned products. Bread is principal components of their meals.
Regarding the increased prices, Gocha Beridze has different opinion. He thinks that the main reason for the problem is poor harvest of the last year. However, on the basis of the amount of domestic product, he stated that the income of the village population is higher than minimum consumer commodities. “If the weather is not bad this year, people will have good harvest in villages. The amount of the product will be increased in 7-8 percent in Akhaltsikhe and in 12 percent in Javakheti. Consequently, the prices on agricultural products will fall down; because more is the product in the market the less are prices.”
Population from Akhaltsikhe, Adigeni, Aspindza trades in Akhaltsikhe Market. They have to pay much for the product they get from other districts so they cannot lower the price on them.
“Besides the peasant’s hard work, we hire a taxi to get potatoes or some other products to Akhaltsikhe and after all that they tell us to lower the price. You should remember that I have to keep my family during the whole year,” said Nazi Londaridze.
Rezo Andguladze, a specialist of agriculture, said that this year peasants could not cultivate most of their plots for various reasons. Thus I think it is too early to speak about the harvest. “It is too expensive to cultivate the land. Peasants need much money to buy fertilizations. Thus, it is too early to speak about the harvest.”
Gulo Kokhodze, Akhaltsikhe
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