In Georgia – positive expectations in connection with the upcoming hazelnut season


In Georgia – positive expectations in connection with the upcoming hazelnut season

07/03/2020

The Association of Hazelnut Producers of Georgia believes that the harvest of hazelnuts in Georgia this season will be about 50 thousand tons

Georgia has rather positive expectations in connection with the upcoming hazelnut season, Georgian Minister of Environment and Agriculture Levan Davitashvili told reporters.

Harvesting hazelnuts in Georgia traditionally begins in mid-August, enters the active phase in September.

“This year we expect a good harvest of hazelnuts. All those activities that have been carried out in recent years in cooperation with the Association of Hazelnut Producers, with direct work with farmers, with significant state funding, and this is multi-million dollar financing of activities related to plant protection, make it possible to get a quality product. The challenge for us in the hazelnut sector in recent years was not the problem of implementation, but the problem of the price, which came from the low quality, which was associated with the marble bug and other pests and diseases (fungal, etc.). The correct protocols, approaches developed by the government, the state, taking into account the views of agronomists and experienced farmers, are now shared by tens of thousands of farmers in the country. Last year, about 15 thousand farmers participated in the “Hazelnut Harvesting Program”, this year – more than 20 thousand. That is, we have expectations that more than 20 thousand families will receive a crop of high-quality hazelnuts, ”Levan Davitashvili said.

Along with this, the minister emphasized the importance of the proper storage of hazelnuts by farmers from the moment of collection to sale, noting that otherwise it will negatively affect its quality. He noted that for these purposes, farmers can use the services of enterprises for drying and storing hazelnuts, which are becoming more and more in the main regions producing hazelnuts.

See also: Hazelnut production forecasts for key countries in 2020 published at INC webinar

As for the world market conditions, according to Levan Davitashvili, there are forecasts that the global hazelnut crop this year will be lower than last year, while the demand for this nut is steady and good. Accordingly, hazelnut prices are expected to be relatively high.

Optimistic forecasts regarding the upcoming season of Georgian hazelnuts are also from the Georgian Hazelnut Producers Association. According to the Executive Director of the Association, Georgy Todua, in those hazelnut gardens where proper care is provided, if adverse weather conditions prevent a very good harvest, both in terms of quality and quantity. Todua believes that hazelnut harvest in Georgia this season will be about 50 thousand tons.

According to the participants of the hazelnut industry (they are based on the volume of export of kernels and the average yield of the kernel), the hazelnut crop in Georgia last season was at the level of 40 thousand tons.

The export of hazelnuts from Georgia during the period from August to December 2019 in monetary terms amounted to $ 49.55 million, which is 75% higher than a year ago ($ 28.31 million). In January-May 2020, hazelnut exports amounted to $ 17.37 million, which is 40% higher than the figure for the same period last year ($ 12.43 million).

Over the past years, Georgia has been implementing a range of government measures to combat the marble bug. Along with the state program for combating marble bugs (which today covers fungal diseases of crops), the Ministry of Environment and Agriculture and the Hazelnut Producers Association are implementing a joint “Hazelnut Harvesting Program” aimed at protecting this crop directly from various pests and diseases. According to industry experts, the above steps have led to serious positive results, and today the problem of marble bedbugs for the country is much less relevant.

The Association of Hazelnut Producers of Georgia currently unites about 25 thousand farmers, whose total area of ​​hazelnut gardens exceeds 30 thousand hectares.

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