Georgia expects to harvest 65-70 thousand tons of hazelnuts in 2021
In August-September of this year, Georgia exported 7.7 thousand tons of hazelnuts with a total value of $ 33.4 million, Novosti-Georgia reports on the materials of the press service of the Ministry of Agriculture of the country.
Harvesting of hazelnuts in Georgia began in August. Traditionally, the regions of Samegrelo and Guria in western Georgia were the first to start harvesting, later they were joined by farmers from Kakheti and other regions where nuts are grown.
“This year started off well, the harvest was high, but the weather has worsened a little lately. However, we expect the 2021-2022 season to be better than last year. Hazelnuts are an important strategic crop in Georgia’s agriculture. The value of the exported hazelnuts exceeded $ 100 million last season, ”said the head of the Ministry of Agriculture Levan Davitashvili.
On the eve of Davitashvili, together with the Governor of the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region, Georgy Goguchia, visited the Geo Nuts hazelnut processing plant in the Zugdidi municipality. There they got acquainted with the process of passing the nuts.
As Goguchia emphasized, almost half of Samegrelo’s population is engaged in agricultural activities, mainly in the cultivation of hazelnuts. According to him, recently their income from the sale of the harvest has increased.
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According to the Ministry of Agriculture, this year the harvest of hazelnuts is of high quality. It is supposed to collect 65-70 thousand tons, the export potential of which is $ 150 million.
Georgian hazelnuts are mainly sent to European countries, as well as to neighboring states.
The Ministry of Agriculture notes that since 2016, as a result of the spread of marble bugs and fungal diseases, the production of hazelnuts and their exports began to decline, and in 2018 they reached a minimum level of 17 thousand tons.
It was possible to obtain a high-quality and high yield in 2020 and 2021 due to active and purposeful work on the destruction of pests. The events were carried out with the support of the EU and the USA.