Due to the development of industrial agriculture many endemic and aboriginal animal breeds faced the threat of extinction. This process became particularly intensive in some former Soviet republics, in Georgia among them. The matter is that the civil war and wrong privatization of public property, and later destroys of well-organized state breeding service made doubtful the maintenance of these breeds. Moreover, non-systemic propagation, and often inbreeding hampered their development, reduced productivity and increased the risk of extinction.
Due to the distinctive relief of the territory of Georgia, well-expressed vertical-zoning and distinctive environmental conditions, the original approach was needed for running of agricultural activities. Accordingly, the peculiar and specific technologies and systems of animal husbandry were developed historically in Georgia. The above mentioned, as well as the creative and hard work of a Georgian farmer created local breeds of domesticated animals and poultry, that have no analogies throughout the world.
With help folk selection the following breeds are created: Georgian mountain and Megrelian Red cattle breeds, subbreed of Georgian Buffalo, Tushetian and Imeretian sheep, Megrelian goat, Tushetian and Megrelian horse, Kakhetian and Svatian pig, five local chicken populations, Javakhian goose, Georgian grey mountain bee, Georgian shepherd dog, etc.
Despite the fact that most of local breeds are relatively low-productive, they are important breeding material as they are characterized by a number of valuable biological and economic properties: adapt well with Alpian and Kolkhetian wetland pastures, need less feed, are tolerant to changeable environment, characterized by natural resistance against some diseases, etc. These features have been successfully used for creation the sheep’s semi-fine-wool-fat-tail and fine-wool-fat-tail breeds, also for increasing of milk fattiness in the cows of steppe red breed, etc.
Thus, without exaggeration we can say that taking into account the traditions and values developed over the centuries, any activity or ritual connected with animal husbandry, as well as the local breeds of domesticated animals/poultry, created by folk selection, are an integral part of Georgian culture and they hold a proper place in the history of world animal husbandry development.
For the country and its inhabitants the animal husbandry means more than a source of high-quality food products. The matter is that:
Almost half of the population of Georgia lives in rural areas. Their economic activities and well-being are related to this field and keeping several species of animals and / or poultry became a way of life for them.
Traditionally, animal food products have a leading place Georgian cuisine, and, therefore, there is a great demand of this products on the market.
The share of natural mowing lands and pastures in total agricultural lands of our country is 49,4% (that consists 1.94 million hectares). Taking into consideration the fact that in our country the share of agricultural land size per one inhabitant is only 0,9 hectares, it is very easily understandable the high economic importance of proper use of this land.
The improvement of economic conditions of the population will further increase the demand of food and animal products on domestic market; In addition, one of the main preconditions for tourism, guesthouses and spa resorts infrastructure development is the supply with high-quality organic products, where the local breeds of domasticated animals and poultry will hold the proper place.