*This article has been ceded by " Academia de Ciències Veterinaries de Catalunya"
The original article is on the following link: http://www.acvc.cat/publicacions.html
Georgia is a mountainous country with diversified natural conditions. From the North it borders upon Russia, from the East – upon Azerbaijan, from the South upon Turkey and Armenia, from the West – upon the Black Sea. In Georgia mountainous landscapes prevail, though there are some low lands as well. The height amplitude ranges from 0 to more than 5000 meters above sea level.
Soil is an independent complex specific biogenic covering of the earth. The soils are distinguished by high geochemical energy of living being. Soil is not only the means of production and major for agricultural activities, but it is also vital important in the formation of sedimentary rock and those useful fossils, which are connected with them. For example, the formation of iron and manganese ores is in close connection with marsh processes, while the formation of bauxite, phosphorite, nitrate, soda, gypsum, lime, salt, bromine is bound to ancient tropical soil formation.
Oil, cobalt, nickel may influence soil characteristics and cause noticeable deviations from ordinary soil formation. This may underlie the soil geochemical methods for search and prospecting minerals.
Georgia, one of new, now independent republic of the Former Soviet Union in the mountainous Caucasus. Its 69 400 km2 soil landscape is extremely variable and includes almost all major soil types of the world, causing V.V. Dokuchaev to say that Georgia was “ a museum of soils under the open sky”. For more than 50 types have been described on the territory of the Georgia. It is result of complex bioclimatic and different lithological and geomorpho- logical conditions. Some of the soils were first described in Georgia (cinna monic, meadow-cinnamonic, yellow-brown forest, black-brown forest and some others) and only afterwards distinguished in many other countries. Diverse conditions of soils formation are complicated by the influence of man’s activations of different duration upon the soils. In some regions of the Georgia the cultivation of soils with the frequent use of watering has a history of many centuries while there are region where the cultivation of soil has been conducted for only a century. The soils of the Georgia have been investigated by many scientists during last one centuries. As a result a number of main principles of modern soil science arose. In Georgia the metrical zonality of soils was discovered, the foundations of the theory of provinciality and foothill zonality of the soils were laid and the notion of the soil metamorphism was formed.
In the Former Soviet Union, Georgia was the only republic where subtropical crops, were widespread, accounting for the heightened interest of Soviet soil scientists contributed to their studies, beginning with the Report of the Dokuchaev Transcaucasian Statistical Committee in 1899. The law of vertical soil zonality’s was based on these studies in the Caucasus Mountains.
Subsequently the red (Krasnozem) amd ye- llow (Zheltozems) and other subtropical soils were studied by B.B.Polynov, S.A. Zakharov, I.P.Gerasimov, V.A.Kovda, S.V.Zonn and the Georgian scientists D.P.Gedevanishvili, M.N. Sabashvili, M.K. Daeaselia and T.F.Urushadze. S.A.Sakharov first described what became known as the calcareous Cinnamonic soils of the dried subtropics; several subtypes are now recognized. According to the 1:500 000 soil map the brown forest soils (with an alluvial Bt horizon) are the predominant soil type.
The Georgian Soil Science Society and the I.Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University in Tbilisi are now the main organizations promoting soil science in Georgia.
In West Georgia they are next row of main soils (from see level): bog (histosols –according WRB), red (alisols), yellow (chromic and ferra- lic cambisols), subtropical podzol (stagnic acri- sols), yellow-brown forest (chromic cambisols and stagnic alisols), broen forest soils (eutric and dystric cambisols), mountain-forest-mea- dow (humic cambisols), mountain-meadow (leptosols, cambisols and cryosols), mountain meadow primitive (leptosols).
In East Georgia they are next row of main soils: grey-cinnamonic (calcic kastanozems), meadow grey-cinnamonic (calcic kastonoze- ms), halomorphic (solonetz and solonchaks), brown-forest black (humic cambisols and phaeozems), cinnamonic (eutric cambisols and calcic kastanozems), meadow cinnamonnic (calcaric cambisols and calcic kastano- zems), brown forest soils (euric and dystric cambisols), mountain forest-meadow (humic cambisols), mountain-meadow (leptosols, cambisols and crysols),mountain meadow primitive (leptosols).
The main soils have very independent properties.
The main soil problem of soil degradation (Ten- giz Urushadze, Kirvalidze, Teo Urushadze).
Among the main types of soil degradation we have such situation:
- Loss of organic matter and of biological activity. These degradations are very old, because in Georgia the land use have a very long history and so all agricultural land are determines with this type of soil degradation.
- Physical degradation: decrease of structure stability, destruction of the aggregates, compaction, lowering of soils surface. All agricultural land more or less is also determined with this type of soils degradation.
- Soil erosion and sedimentation. The main soil problems in Georgia are erosion. The soils of Georgia run the changes of intensive erosion. For example, 30% of the ground is badly eroded, 20% of ground is less eroded. In Georgia all kinds of erosion are observed. Water erosion is mainly spread in West Georgia, while wind erosion – in East part. In South-West part of Georgia, in Adjaria the “soil migration” of the population is observed. The country-people living in mountain parts leave their homes. The reason is that the soils are eroded to such extent that agricultural activities are completely impossible. Nearly 10 years ago anti-erosion measures were worked out. Though, these measures have been taken yet became of the hard economic conditions of the country.
- Waterlogging, hydromorphy but also excessive desiccation. First of all it is as result of functioning of drainage system in low lands. In West Georgia we have 220.000 ha of bog soils.
- Solinization and alkalization. The example of this type of soil degradation we have in East Georgia (180 000 ha).
- Acidification. Practically we have not such type of soil degradation.
- Loss of chemical fertility: N, P, K. the agricultural lands of Georgia have a deficit of N and P. More or less they are rich with K.
- Pollution. After the soil erosion pollution is next main problems of soil degradation in Georgia. In recent past the pollution of soils was great than now, for the industry worked with full power then. It was the main source of pollution. For now the role of industry as a source of pollution is now counted. To same corresponds to agriculture. Recently the amount of fertilizers and other chemical used in agriculture has descended. So, agriculture and industry cannot be regarded as active sources of pollution nowadays. Thus, the main sources left are transport. Its role in soil pollutions if going fast. The problem of radioactive pollution is of the greatest important (Urushadze, Kvachantiradze, Bokuchava, 2007). The lack of effective means of control, “transparence” of state frontiers enormous stream of people and goods traveling by transport deepen the problem.
- Disappearance of the soil. This type of soil degradation have tendency of active development.
In Georgia wood plants make number of formations which are characterized by the pre- dominance of one or several wood species forming high productive forests.
In Georgia forests occupy 39,5% of the whole territory. 97, 7% of the forests are situated on mountain slopes.
Livestock farming is one of the oldest and most traditional branches of Georgian agriculture (Agladze, 2006). Local population always paid great attention to it. There is no variety of farm livestock that is not presented by one or several aborigine varieties.
Georgia – the country rich its past is now confronted with grave difficulties in the area of soil science. It has been found its bright reflection in the process of preparation of the Land Cadastre, in blatant disregard of the qualitative assessment of the land. The difficulties are the result of made quite propaganda, low level of international links, lack of participation in granted projects, insufficient legislature etc. Only concerted efforts can resolve these problems.
From the main types of plants in Georgia such as semi-desert, steppe, forest and field plants, the mostly spread is forest plantation. In the West Georgia forest plants are spread from the sea coast up to the height of 2000-3000 m above sea level (subtropical belt marginal zone). In the East Georgia the laver border runs at the altitude of 800-1000m above sea level. Major factors which determine the lower border of the forest are lack of rainfall, low relative humidity and high temperature.
In the communist period proper attention was paid to the branch and it remained as the least developed in the country. In the transition period the decrease of livestock of farm animals was conditioned by various reasons. They are deficit of forage and grain, decreased area of winter pastures etc. In spite of particular positive changes in recent years livestock breeding in Georgia in 2005 did not reach the level of 1990. Potential possibilities to improve animal productivity, to increase profitability of livestock production and of the branch in general are not yet realized.
The situation is unfavorable in forage production. During the last 15 years sowing area among them of forage crops has reduced. Lack of winter pastures is also a great problem. In recent years much attention has been paid to improve field forage production, to increase ecologically clean production among them forage free of nitrates, heavy metals and other unfavorable substances.
Science plays a great role in the realization of the issues of rehabilitation of livestock farming and forage production; the increase of productivity of agricultural animals and poultry, production of meat, milk, eggs, wool and high profitability of the branch.
In case of realization of the recommended measures by 2015 the demand for forage will be met except for demand in grain, the deficit of which will make about 15% of the demanded amount.
Infective diseases of animals except being dangerous for human health lead to the distraction of economy. The number of livestock decreases, the quantity and quality of production is deteriorated. Limitation against diseases quarantine prevent export and import. Infections are great problem for Georgia.
The most dangerous infections for Georgia
For many centuries have been the following diseases: Anthrat, Rabbles, Tuberculosis, Bru- cellosis, Aphtae epizooticae, Pasteurellosis, Salmonellosis, Gangrena emphysematosa, Variola, Pestis bovum, Erysipelas suum and many parasite diseases. Today grippus avium and Pestis Africana suum are among them. The later has caused great damage to the population. In different period Morbus Aujeszky, Trichophytia, Morbus Newcastle, Leptospirosis, Hepatitis infectiosa necrotica, Enterototaemia is revealed.
Unfortunately preventive measures are carries out at the expense of the population. One to the economic state of the population and the lack of necessary preparations the level of veterinary measures is very low.
For several decades high skilled experts in livestock farming and veterinary have been prepared.