The only avocado orchard in Georgia established as an experiment by the Georgian agricultural company Geonuts Company in 2021 failed. The conclusion was made by the company’s specialists that assessed the seedlings after the second winter they endured.
The avocado orchard is located in the Lanchkhut municipality (Guria region, Western Georgia). On the territory of 6 hectares, 3 500 seedlings were planted two years ago. Avocado seedlings were purchased from the Italian nursery Vivai Zanzi and selected taking into account the local climate. The first harvest from the orchard, in case of success, was expected in 2025.
“As a result of the first winter, about 50% of avocado seedlings are lost. We took additional care measures, including wrapping the seedlings for the cold season, following the recommendations as much as possible, but the current result was still far from desired. Probably, some of the seedlings will continue growing, but next winter is ahead. The main enemies of avocados are frost and wind. And we came to the conclusion that without a greenhouse, this orchard will not reach the stage of fruiting. Our experience shows that growing avocados in the open air in local conditions is impossible,” Rezo Chitadze, director of Geonuts Company LLC, told EastFruit.
The company has not yet made a decision on further actions in the experimental avocado orchard.
Experiments with the cultivation of avocados in Georgia have been carried out since the first half of the last century, but none of them has yet led to the production of this exotic fruit on a commercial scale. Meanwhile, commercial production of avocados in neighboring Turkey has been developing since the 1990s.
It should also be noted that avocados are becoming more and more popular in Georgia. The country imported only 40 tonnes of avocados in 2014, but in 2022 imports increased to 830 tonnes, and the annual value of imports exceeded $1 million for the first time.
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