Chinese Investors to Restore Tea Plantations in Georgia

Twelve thousand hectares of tea plantations are to be restored in western Georgia by Chinese investors, who plan to invest $500 million over 12 years.

The information was released by media outlet, which reports that the Head of the state-led Partnership Fund Davit Saganelidze has said the Chinese companies will restore tea plantations in Guria, Imereti, Adjara and Samegrelo, providing the local population with employment.

“We have started a very large joint tea project, which implies development of the Georgian tea industry, trade, culture and tourism, and restoration of tea cultures in Georgia. The investors are also considering building tea factories where tea raw materials will be processed,” Saganelidze stated.

He added the tourism component will also be developed at the plantations.

“Tourists will have the opportunity to come and look around the plantations and taste Georgian tea there,” he noted.

Saganelidze explained that the Chinese investors are ready to restore 12,000 hectares of plantations, which are currently state-owned.

“They will start with 4-5 thousand hectares and then gradually restore the rest of the territory, which will be given to them by lease agreement. A very good pilot project was made in Tsalenjikha where tea was grown with Chinese technology and experimental samples sent to China,” he said.

The Head of the Partnership Fund explained that the full amount of tea produced in this area will be processed in Georgia and exported to China.

“The Chinese investors tell us they will produce the highest quality tea in Georgia and have promised they will train Georgian specialists, build Georgian factories and employ Georgian people. This is a very good deal,” said Saganelidze.

The Memorandum of Understanding on Tea Industry Development in Georgia was signed between the Partnership Fund, Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia and Chinese Companies - Beijing Jinfenghengye Agricultural Development Co. LTD and Xinjiang Hualing & Trade (Group) Co. Ltd in 2016.

Thea Morrison

05 March 2018 15:31