Georgia Expects a 55,000-ton Tangerine Harvest

The harvesting process of tangerines in Georgia is underway without delay and it has been announced that a 55,000-ton harvest is expected this season.

The Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Gakharia, visited Georgia’s Ajara region and familiarized himself with the process of citrus export in the city of Batumi.

Together with Chairman of the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Ajara Tornike Rizhavadze, the PM visited the Ferry Station at Batumi Port where ships are loaded with tangerine containers for further export.

Gakharia stated that the harvest is well underway and there are no problems when it comes to citrus pricing and selling.

“Most importantly, we see that Ajara's farmers are happy as they encounter no problems selling their products, which is exciting,” he said.

The Prime Minister stressed that the most important issue nowadays is creating more workplaces, adding the Georgian economy needs more growth.

“We must support the empowerment and development of local businesses, and attract and support investors as well. As you know, we expect a growth in our FDIs these last few months, and we will do everything to make sure that Georgian business is stronger, so that it can create new jobs, this way supporting our country's economic growth,” he added.

A coordination center serving farmers and factories opened in the region on October 16, with support from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Government of Ajara, which facilitates the storage of the fruit and the distribution of state subsidiaries to farmers growing tangerines. The center will work until February 1, 2020.

Processing plants are standing ready to accept non-standard products. The amount of tangerines received by the plants for processing has already exceeded 405 tons. The storage of citrus in Ajara and Guria engages 25 companies, of which 14 work on export. These companies include 5 enterprises financed under the Unified Agro Project.

Moreover, in terms of processing fruit, including citrus fruit, 7 new enterprises financed under the Unified Agro Project operate in the regions of Ajara and Guria, and one further enterprise has expanded its operations. Their cumulative investment exceeds GEL 10 million ($3,401,360). The companies have created 155 new jobs.

Early this month, Georgian Minister of Agriculture Levan Davitashvili said that 2019 will be a special year for farmers, taking into consideration the high quality of the tangerine harvest. He said that high quality tangerines will reflect on the market price and noted that the export market is more diversified this year as new export markets have been added for Georgian tangerines.

The Minister underlined that this year Georgia will export tangerines to four new countries: Slovenia, Singapore, Lithuania and Qatar, alongside the traditional export countries of Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.

Davitashvili noted that Belarus and the Central Asian countries are also interested in importing Georgian tangerines.

Georgia exported 26,775 tons of mandarins during the 2018-2019 citrus harvest season, while this year, 7,900 tons of tangerines have been exported since the middle of October.

Further, the export of tangerines grew by 25% in 2018-2019 compared to the 2017-2018 harvest.

By Tea Mariamidze

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09 December 2019 17:44