Cherry, apple and blueberry are the most attractive horticultural crops for investment – survey


Cherry, apple and blueberry are the most attractive horticultural crops for investment – survey

01/08/2020

Apple took the second place in terms of investment prospects, surpassing even blueberries

The EastFruit Telegram channel conducted an anonymous reader survey on the most promising investment niches for horticulture in the Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus region.

The survey involved more than 450 people mainly from Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Russia, Moldova, Georgia, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Belarus, who considered cherries to be the most attractive culture for investment. Only about 100 people or 22% of respondents gave the palm to the cherry. Despite periodic price shocks and weather risks due to rains and frosts in some of the countries of the region, cherries are becoming an increasingly popular export product with great potential.

For example, China is already spending more than a billion dollars on the import of cherries, while Uzbekistan and Tajikistan already have the opportunity to supply cherries to this huge country. Russia, according to EastFruit analysts, will spend about $ 130 million on cherries from other countries in 2019, increasing imports by 10%. It is not surprising that Uzbekistan is actively expanding the area under this culture.

Quite unexpectedly, the apple took the second place in terms of investment prospects, bypassing even blueberries. 16% of those polled voted for the apple business. Investors are interested in apple orchards, primarily because growing technologies are the most affordable, the apple, unlike berry crops, can be stored in modern fruit storages for at least a year, and the apple market remains quite voluminous. In addition, in some countries in the region, apple prices remain high due to insufficient domestic production.

However, experts also pay attention to the shortcomings of the apple business – first of all, that the volume of international trade in apples is declining, and even berries have already surpassed the apple in terms of trade. And in general, an apple goes out of fashion and consumers increasingly want to try new fruits, often exotic for them, while very little money is invested in promoting apple consumption.

Third place was taken by blueberries. This berry crop most likely did not win the poll simply because a very large percentage of those who voted were from Central Asian countries, where blueberries are practically unknown. Although in these countries, blueberries are becoming a very prestigious and fashionable product. For blueberries, 14% of respondents voted, who consider investments in its cultivation to be the most profitable, among all other crops in horticulture.

But it turned out that relatively few people believe in nuts, although the area under walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts and even pistachios is expanding very quickly in almost all countries of the region. Especially good conditions for growing nuts in Central Asia. However, walnuts took only fourth place in the survey with 11% of the vote, losing five percentage points to blueberries. Almonds gained 5% of the vote, and hazelnuts – 4%.

But table grapes scored 10% and took fifth place among the most promising investment niches in horticulture. Despite the fact that Moldova, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan are already growing very large volumes of grapes for fresh consumption, there are still a lot of investment niches in its cultivation and marketing. We talked about many of them in our material from Moldova.

About the same number of people believe that the list of nine fruits that were named in the survey does not have the most promising one. Among such fruits were named, in particular, apricot, peach, persimmon, pomegranate and others.

But least of all, the experts we interviewed believe in such berry crops as raspberries and honeysuckle – both scored only 4% of the vote. In the case of raspberries, this distrust of the prospects for this berry may be due to low prices on the world market for frozen raspberries in 2017-2018 and an excess of products on the market. However, raspberries for the fresh market all this time remained a very profitable and promising business, which in our region almost no one wanted to do. A good example of how large-scale export of fresh raspberries can develop is Morocco, which we wrote about in our material.

As for honeysuckle, the industrial cultivation of this crop is associated with a large number of difficulties. However, it is becoming more popular in Europe, and a survey of Ukrainian consumers showed that most people who taste it for the first time like honeysuckle.

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