Bleak times for organic farmers in Georgia – but there is hope
12 December, 2018
Bleak times for organic farmers in Georgia – but there is hope
Organic hazelnut production is a delicate plant in Georgia that has emerged just a couple of years ago. Various pests, among them the Asian stink bug Parosana, trouble hazelnut farmers and menace their livelihood – even before their businesses could really take off. “The stink bug invasion was a disaster and still is, especially for organic farmers”, says Mariam Jorjadze, director of the Biological Farming Association Elkana in Georgia.

Asian Parosana invaded Western Georgia in 2016. Although the bug attacks corn
and citrus fruits as well, it causes the most damage to hazelnuts – Georgia’s main food stuff export. While conventional farmers benefit from major chemical pesticides spraying campaigns by the government, the organic farmers are forbidden to use such combat methods.

geotv.ge
Asian Parosana is a big threat to the Georgian hazelnut production

Last year, as a consequence, every third farmer couldn’t harvest any hazelnuts at all, says Jorjadze. “The organic sector is in danger. We don’t think it will be the end, but the next year is going to be very challenging”. The quality requirements for organic hazelnuts are especially high as they are mainly exported to Europe.

However, according to the governmental statistics only 15% of the losses in hazelnuts are directly linked to the stink bug. This number is supported by the observations of the members of Elkana. “There is high humidity in Western Georgia. Thus, we think that the main losses are caused by fungal diseases,” says Jorjadze.

geotv.ge
A stink bug trap, photo courtesy: NFA

As a matter of fact, the reasons for the enormous losses of hazelnut farmers – in the organic as well as in the conventional production – are multiple and interconnected. For instance, when a stink bug attacks a nut and punctures its shell, this might not be the end of the fruit. However, the hole facilitates others pests such as fungi to penetrate the nut and infest it.


Georgian farmers need more agricultural know-how


That is why it is important that the organic farmers do not only trap and kill the stink bugs, but also invest much more time and work in the maintenance of their hazelnut orchards. “They must prune the shrubs properly in order to make sure there is enough light in the orchards and as a consequence less humidity and ergo less fungi”, says Jorjadze.

Read more: Training farmers to rescue the organic hazelnut production in Georgia

Most of the mainly small scale hazelnut farmers have not heard of the importance of such measures yet. But as hazelnuts have increasingly gained importance in the past years, more and more farmers have specialized in this commodity and have bigger and bigger hazelnut orchards.

geotv.ge
Hazelnut orchard in the village of Pereta in Guria

“Of a mono-crop you need to take care like of a vineyard, that’s what we say to those farmers”, says Jorjadze. That is why, Elkana invests in agricultural trainings for the farmers. Elkana’s hope: Increasing know-how improves the management of hazelnut orchards and makes them more robust against pest attacks.

“Professional organic farmers achieved good quality in hazelnuts, even in these difficult times. Organic farmers, who are open-minded, have access to information, and who are ready to put their heart and soul in their farms will survive”, says Jorjadze.

Author: Martina Polek

Related stories:

Georgian desserts to taste in winter

Discover protected areas and national parks in Georgia- Part 3

TasteAtlas about Georgian dishes – Part 5


Print
Other Stories
The most wanted fruits from Georgia
The fruit exportation has decreased in Georgia. According to Geostat (National Statistics Office of Georgia), this year, up until May Georgia exported 25 939 300 USD worth of fruit – 6 771 300 USD less than in 2018.
Investment Plan for Europe – Additional EUR 800 million for SMEs as EIF and ProCredit double support for innovative companies
The European Investment Fund (EIF) and ProCredit Group are providing an additional EUR 800 million to innovative small and medium-sized companies (SMEs),
Everything of comfortable life in one space – Second part of construction of one of the largest apartment complexes finished in Tbilisi
Apartment in ecologically clean environment, thousands of square meters of green yard, swimming pools, places for various sports activities, treks for walking and running, commercial spaces – all these available in one space is not a fantasy.
Batumi awarded Europe's Leading Emerging Tourism Destination 2019
World Travel Awards Europe Gala Ceremony 2019 took place on the 8th of June in Madeira, Portugal.
Coca Cola to open new factory in Georgia, will hire female drivers
Coca Cola is opening new factory in Georgia in December.
World's best party supply company now on the Georgian market
The largest party supply store in Georgia - MyDay is launching as the official distributor of AMSCAN from 2019.
Live as a marketing tool and an unprecedented live stream launched by Livetag
Sharing information has become smoother and more versatile in today’s technological world. Recently, live streaming, an online streaming media has become especially popular.
Theme and program of Caspian Energy Forum Tbilisi – 2019 changed
“The 8th International Caspian Energy Forum Tbilisi – 2019, scheduled for June 21, will focus on the development of the Azerbaijan-Georgia relations in the field of economy and energy”,
Misunderstanding over Poti deep sea ports
There was misunderstanding around deep sea ports in Georgia – in Poti.
High demand for dollars or the investment decline – Why Georgian Lari depreciates
$1 equals GEL 2,7470 in the official rate set by the National Bank of Georgia (NBG).
PSP Group confirms negotiations regarding purchasing of GEO Hospitals
PSP Group confirms negotiations regarding purchasing of GEO Hospitals.
New life to be given to Dashbashi Canyon
Georgia’s Agency of Protected Areas is planning to give new life to Dashbashi Canyon in Tsalka (southeastern Georgia).
Who is constructing “Khadori 3” Hydropower Plant in Pankisi Gorge?
Clashes broke out in Pankisi Gorge, Georgia’s northeastern region between special forces and residents
Business Positive – Successful radio program from Radio Positive
Starting point of radio program Business Positive is to meet interesting people, communicate with them and deliver information that is interesting for the audience.
A factory of electric vehicles to be built in Kutaisi
Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze stated that a factory of electric vehicles will be built in Kutaisi at the presentation of the Aigroup business group.
Qvevri-shaped hotel complex to be built in Telavi
A Qvevri-shaped hotel complex is scheduled to be built in the village of Shalauri in Telavi, Kakheti (east part of Georgia).
Georgian designers presented at Fashion World Tokyo 2019
The products of 11 Georgian designers are showcased at Fashion World Tokyo 2019,
Silknet raises $200 million in Eurobond issue
27 March 2019 - JSC Silknet (“Silknet”), one of Georgia’s leading telecommunications operators, has successfully priced a debut $200 million 5-year 11% senior unsecured bonds issue (the “Notes”).
Pistachio trees will be planted in Georgia
Dozens of hectares of Pistachio are planned to be planted in Georgia this year.
Toyota Safety Sense and Hybrid Technology
Toyota Caucasus, has presented two new models the 5th generation RAV4 and the 12th generation Corolla at Rustavi International Motorpark, several days ago.
Bidzina Ivanishvili “became number one oppressor of businesses in Georgia” - ICC Georgia chairman Fady Asly
Mr. Ivanishvili promised the business community to protect them from harassment and pressure, unfortunately his words died with the sunset of that day
The best brands of Belarus will be exhibited on a large-scale exposition in Tbilisi
"The Belarusians like to come to Georgia to relax near the sea in Batumi as well as to stay in sunny Kakhetia."
Don’t treat business like a hooker! - Georgian businessman Vasil Soprpmadze addresses politicians
Businessman Vasil Sopromadze, founder of the company "Fresco", addresses politicians
RAV4 No Compromise and Corolla Set to Impress – Two New Cars Presented by Toyota
Toyota Caucasus, the company constantly aspiring to greatness, has presented two new models the 5th generation RAV4 and the 12th generation Corolla.
Mamuka Khazaradze quits TBC bank, does not sell the TBC Bank share
I made a decision to leave TBC bank where I spent 27 years of my life
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
18.07.2019
19.07.2019
USD
1
USD
2.8687
2.8714
EUR
1
EUR
3.2178
3.2191
GBP
1
GBP
3.5580
3.5832
RUB
100
RUB
4.5670
4.5608
Other Stories
Recently Toyota rolled out Global Campaign under this slogan that reflects the Olympic and Paralympic Spirit of Encouragement,
A couple from Switzerland combines Swiss tradition and technology with Georgian products. Their cheese is made in the Georgian mountains and sold in local stores and hotels.
It has been more than five years since the residents of Lilo village, near Tbilisi, cannot open their windows.
63 000 GEL was received by the Georgian Agro Export Group which is just a small part of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agricultural and Rural development.
Georgian entrepreneur Guka Tavberidze, who runs his own business in the UK and does it quite well, has been invited by BBC
The grand opening of 7-star The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi took place in Georgia’s capital on July 31.
DUSHETI, Georgia – The Georgian government and the World Bank will allocate USD 5.6 million (12 million GEL) to fund
A new Georgian clothing brand named Person has emerged in Georgian market.
Georgia is in the midst of an economic maelstrom, Euronews reports.
Situation at Georgia’s mineral water market is interesting: over the last year, the volume of export has grown by 56 percent. According to “GeoStat”, over $114 million worth of mineral water was sold
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.8714
EUR
1
EUR
3.2191
GBP
1
GBP
3.5832
RUB
100
RUB
4.5608
July 2019
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31