Georgia hopes for a good peach crop and fear frosts in the second half of April

Georgia hopes for a good peach crop and fear frosts in the second half of April


Peach production is considered one of the most promising areas of crop production in Georgia.

A good peach harvest is expected in Georgia this year, but this is provided that in the last two weeks of April there are no frosts that often occur at this particular time, ”said Zviad Bobokashvili, doctor of agricultural sciences, representative of the Georgian Agricultural Research Center, Speaking at the International Online Conference “Fruits and covid19: Impact on Prices, Production and Trade”, held on April 15, 2020. The conference was organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) with the support of the Ukrainian Fruit and Vegetable Association (UPOA), the Federation of Agricultural Producers of Moldova FARM and the agro-media agency Sapienza.

Peach production in Georgia is considered one of the most promising areas of crop production. According to the data of the National Statistics Service, by the end of 2019, peach took 5th place in terms of yield among fruits and nuts produced in the country (after grapes, tangerines, apples and hazelnuts) and 3rd line in the list of export of fresh fruits and nuts (after hazelnuts and tangerines).

“Peach in Georgia is produced in rather large quantities, its main supplier to the market is Kakheti. During the period of flowering peach, the temperature in this region dropped to “minus” 1 – “minus” 2, but this did not create serious problems for the main part of the gardens. This temperature was problematic only for those varieties that then already completed flowering, because then they are especially susceptible. In general, according to our assessment, we lost somewhere 10-15% of the expected yield, but most likely there will be no problems with the quality of the fruits. Now the main risk is frosts, which often happen in Georgia in the second half of April, and which cause the main damage to the gardens. Judging by the weather forecasts, the next week will be uniquely good, but the last week is still unclear. So, if April ends without frost, you can count on a good season. Moreover, for Georgian peach orchards, given the frequency of fruiting, this year is fruitful, ”said Zviad Bobokashvili.

See also: Moldova: in anticipation of high prices for stone fruits

A similar situation, he said, has developed with regard to cherries. “A few days ago in the Kvemo Kartli region there was a minus temperature – minus 2, and we received information that the early varieties of cherries that completed flowering were damaged in some of the gardens. But the main producer of cherries is the Shida Kartli region, and there the flowering is just beginning. So, and in this case we are waiting for what will be the last week of April. In 2017, in the same period, the temperature dropped to minus 8, and we lost everything that was – both on the pome seeds and on the stones, ”he said.

As for the apricot, this season, according to Zviad Bobokashvili, his harvest is likely to be low, and the reason for this is heavy rainfall during the flowering period, which, among other things, is fraught with the spread of fungal diseases, including moniliosis (caused by fungus Monilia cinerea). “Apricot blossoms in Georgia at the end of the first – in the second decade of March, during this period there were no frosts in Georgia, but prolonged rainfall was observed. The varieties grown in Georgia are very sensitive to moniliosis, and because of the rainfall it was very difficult to spray the gardens. So the apricot harvest in Georgia, as a result of this, is likely to be very poor, ”said Zviad Bobokashvili.

The peach harvest in 2019 amounted to 22.3 thousand tons, or 57.8% of the total stone fruit crop (38.6 thousand tons). Cherries and cherries accounted for 7.8% (3.0 thousand tons) of apricot, 3.1% (1.2 thousand tons) of apricot.

Peach production volumes have been declining over the past 3 years (32.3 thousand tons in 2017, 27.5 thousand tons in 2018 and 22.3 thousand tons in 2019), and export volumes are growing (in monetary terms, export peach in 2017 amounted to $ 4.3 million, 2018 – $ 8.2 million, 2019 – $ 12.5 million).

The export of cherries has been growing for the last 3 years (in 2017 – $ 0.02 million, in 2018 – $ 0.1 million, in 2019 – $ 0.3 million), apricot export does not have a pronounced trend (in 2017 – $ 400, in 2018 – 0.02 million, in 2019 – 0.01 million).


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