Erhan Zorlu on Prospects of Developing the Agrarian Sector in Georgia

The sustainable development of agriculture is one of the key factors to strengthening Georgia’s economy. From the climatic zones perspective, the Georgian biosphere is very diverse, with the country boasting fertile soil and being rich in amelioration and potable water resources.

However, good climatic conditions and rich natural resources alone are not enough for the development of the agricultural field: it needs more professionals with a experience, energy, innovative ideas, as well as ‘fresh blood’- those who will be able to use this natural wealth in the right way for a better tomorrow.

One such professional, with years of experience in the agricultural sphere, is Erhan Zorlu, General Director of two distinguished and different profile companies: ‘WG TECHNO’ and ‘MZA CHITILI.” GEORGIA TODAY spoke to him about his companies’ activities in the Georgian market, current challenges in the field and his expert view on the prospects for agricultural development in the country.

Erhan believes education and constant self-development in various areas are the main driving forces behind success. And as it turns out, apart from being an experienced professional in the agricultural field, he also has a number of exciting hobbies, among them electronic music. Those interested can listen to his tracks on SoundCloud: Erhan Zorlu / DjErhanz.

“I first discovered Georgia 25 years ago, when I was a student in Turkey. I’ve always been impressed with the country and its culture, and eventually decided to live and work here. I’ve been working in the agricultural field here for the past 10 years,” he tells us.

The first company he decided to open on the local market was Water and Gas Technologies (WG TECHNO), which is the largest and first provider of irrigation systems, producing pipes, vegetable boxes for carrying agricultural products, etc. It is a multi-profile company that covers production, import, realization, and projecting.

“We have a factory and two retail shops. In addition, we are a project makers. Many people come and ask us for advice on how to manage agricultural activities, and we help them with our experience,” Erhan says.

“Shortly after establishing Water and Gas Technologies, we found out that there was no seedling production in the region, which is the main thing for the agricultural development of the country. Georgia has a very good climate, fertile soil, and it is very close to many markets such as Russia, Dubai, and Qatar, which is a very good point. But, imagine that there was no mass production of seedlings! So we decided to take a risk and make the first steps in this direction, effectively establishing the company MZA CHITILI, which produces vegetable and flower seeds and fresh vegetables in our greenhouse, and then distributes them to the net supermarkets.

“The main comfort we offer our customers is that in our shops, they can find almost everything necessary for their work, in one space.”

MZA CHITILI is the first company in Georgia to produce not only ordinary but also grafted seedlings, for which the latest Italian technologies and robotics are used. The aim is to take and implement foreign technologies in Georgia, which will help the local farmers get a large, fresh harvest with high quality and lower expenses.

“MZA CHITILI has been operating for four years now, and we already have some important international contracts,” Erhan says. “I would like to point out our cooperation with the biggest Armenian vegetable producer company among the post-soviet countries, SPAYKA, and we are very proud and glad to be their partners and exchange experience. Our company is producing grafted seedlings for them. The seedlings are then exported to Armenia and produced vegetables are distributed throughout Russia.

“The main problem not only in Georgia but in many other countries is realization of your products. Export is something we really need to do, but imagine that there are many farmers whose production is not so big. So, we have to unite all these farmers and share our experience on how to manage and take care of their business. When we have a standard of production, with the help of international companies, I want to collect all these small productions, make a big brand and sell the production to international markets. Our company is the leader in the market, and we grow as much as we can,” Erhan notes. “Now, we should grow together with Georgia. If Georgia exports, if the country produces more, then we will all grow together, which will be beneficial for all sides and for the country’s economy in general, that’s the main idea.”

Erhan tells us they currently plan to export not only seedlings, but also agricultural tools, such as pipes, fittings, etc., for which the main target is Ukraine, the city of Kherson, where the opening of an equipped shop is planned.

“We’ve learned a lot of things in these 10 years, and we want to use and enlarge this experience in neighboring countries also, with Georgia as a production center.”

As for the current difficulties, one of the challenging issues was the spread of the new coronavirus, which poses a serious problem not only for the agricultural field, but for business in general. However, Erhan says they were well able to manage their business despite the recent developments.

“In accordance with the COVID reality, we started working on the development of an online business and delivery service strategy. We already had a website,, where customers can shop online; however, once we’re done working on our new strategy, we will offer even more comfort. Despite all the bad changes the virus brought into our lives, it is the time for real professionals with an original vision.

“One of the most important issues for our companies is to find professional, well-educated and energetic young people with new ideas. We are looking for such staff, and we are ready to cooperate with them, because we have this energy, and we need suitable teammates to implement our diverse ideas. We are ready to deepen their experience through various trainings and practice in our factories,” Erhan says.

“Agriculture has great potential for development here in Georgia. However, we need some ‘catalyzers’ for better results. For instance, American organization USAID is a really good catalyzer, as they are experts of the field. With the help of such international companies, increased exports and high quality products, the country will be able to make significant progress in this direction in the next 5 years. The main thing is to produce good quality products and do our work in a professional manner, and we are firmly on this way.”

He notes his companies are doing their best to contribute to the process of proper agricultural development. In the coming years, he says, they aim to make Georgia a production center, expand production, produce even more diverse materials and export them to the neighboring countries.

“This is planned from WG TECHNO side, and from the MZA CHITILI side, we plan to organize our farmers, share our experience, unite them around one brand and export high quality products produced by them abroad. These two aims are our main projects to work on in the near future,” he concludes.

13 August 2020 14:17