Despite the pandemic, the watermelon season in Georgia is assessed as successful


Despite the pandemic, the watermelon season in Georgia is assessed as successful

08/05/2020

In the Kakheti region, an area of ​​more than 3,500 hectares is sown with watermelons

Due to the pandemic, some farmers changed their plans for the production of watermelons, but in the end the season was a success.

Harvesting of watermelons in Georgia begins in mid-July and continues until the end of August. The main producer of watermelons in Georgia is the Kakheti region (Eastern Georgia), where, as a rule, the crop is harvested twice. The first harvest of watermelons is sown in early March. Georgia has not yet declared a state of emergency during the watermelon sowing season this year, and cases of Covid-19 infection have been rare. And, of course, the farmers, according to the usual plan, cultivated their land. However, in late April and early May, during the planting of the second crop, a state of emergency was declared. The country introduced restrictions on air and land movements, farmers no longer had positive expectations regarding the tourist season in the country, some farmers changed their minds to sow a second crop.

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Producer of watermelons from Afeni village, Lagodekhi municipality (Kakheti region, Eastern Georgia) Elizbar Kublashvili, shares his story during the pandemic. The farmer, who has sown an area of ​​25-28 hectares for 18 years from year to year, decided this year to cultivate only 15 hectares of land and abandon the second harvest. According to Elizbar, other farmers around him have reduced the area for planting watermelons, which accordingly influenced the supply and increased the price of the fruit. Despite the pandemic, Elizbar Kublashvili is satisfied with the current season, he has successfully sold his harvest for a good price. At the beginning of the season, his harvest directly from the field was sold for 60 tetri ($ 0.19) per kilogram, and at the peak of the season, prices fell to 25 tetri ($ 0.08), which, according to the farmer, is an acceptable price for a watermelon. Elizbar has already sold out the entire harvest of watermelons, ending its season ahead of schedule.

As of 2020, more than 3,500 hectares have been sown with watermelons in the Kakheti region. The largest watermelon fields are located in the Kvareli (1200 ha) and Lagodekhi (1800 ha) municipalities. In the Akhmeta region, 52 hectares of area are sown with watermelons, in the Signakh region – 340 hectares. Harvesting takes place in all municipalities of the region, with the exception of Sagarejoy (52 ha), where the process will begin later. Lasha Shalamberidze, Head of the Department for Cooperation with Regions of the Agency for Rural Development and Agriculture of Georgia, told EastFruit: “The pandemic did not interfere with the cultivation and collection of watermelons. The harvest, despite the extraordinary conditions this year, was a success. At the moment, an active harvest is underway and there are no problems with implementation. Prices range from 30 ($ 0.10) to 50-60 tetri ($ 0.16-0.19) in various municipalities. ” Lasha Shalamberidze explained the upward trend in prices in Georgia on the watermelon market by the high demand for these melons.

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