Biggest Ever Hazelnut Yields in Georgia This Year
08 September, 2011
Biggest Ever Hazelnut Yields in Georgia This Year

 

Eka  Kavtaradze

Georgia witnesses massive harvests of hazelnut. Farmers basically feel good about this year’s harvest.

Due to poor harvests in Turkey, hazelnut goes by higher prices compared to the last year. Even so, farmers say it is exporters who are set to benefit from it. Georgian hazelnut mostly supplies European markets and represents 24% of Georgian food exports. As for the market outlook, world demand grows by steady 2% annually.

 

Liana Khomeriki, resident of Ozurgeti district: “They pay 2.7 Lari per kg

of hazelnut. You have to deliver it to Ozurgeti, to any of 14 collection centers operating there in this period. The demand for hazelnut is high. They will buy any volume. Last year, the price was 2 Lari. This winter it will grow to 3.5-4 Lari per kg. This year, hazelnut harvests in Turkey failed. That’s why it is expensive.”

Iason Nachkebia, resident of Rukhi village: “I cannot complain about this year’s harvest. Yet, the local price is too low. They buy it here for only 2.8 Lari, then export and sell it abroad at three or four times the local price. Nonetheless, we are fine compared to those farmers living in Abkhazia. Bandits are on the rampage. If they hear that someone sold hazelnut, they swoop on that family. Poor people – they have no other option but to sell their harvests at very low prices to those intermediaries who enjoy protection from powers that be and hence can safely export the hazelnut, perhaps furtively even to Zugdidi.”

Begi Sioridze, the founder of hazelnut Export Company: “this year’s harvest beats everything. I think it is the highest in the country’s history. It is anticipated that in overall Georgia will yield 35 thousand tons.”

 

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