As a Happy New Year gift for 2021, EastFruit offers its readers a list of our most popular articles for 2020. Topics with links are ranked based on how often the content was read and cited.
“The best news of 2020 for the horticulture sector was a sharp increase in the consumption of vegetables, fruits, and berries in the world as people were more concerned about their health regardless of costs. When we assessed the potential impact of the coronavirus on business in March-April 2020, we did not take this factor into account because we understood that revenues would fall. However, despite the sharp drop in income, not only did prices for vegetables and fruits not drop, but prices increased as their sales continued to grow. Let’s hope that even after the victory over the coronavirus, this trend will continue, which I sincerely wish for everyone!” says Andriy Yarmak, an economist at the Investment Centre of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
Also in 2020, EastFruit was able to launch a completely updated website, which has become more convenient to use. Everyone especially liked our new section on wholesale prices as well as the launch of the English version of the site.
Be that as it may, the worst pandemic in human history became the symbol of 2020. The coronavirus, or COVID-19, has been the focus of EastFruit since the beginning of the pandemic and we published our first materials on the topic back in January. We were the first to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the potential impact of COVID-19 on the horticulture business so several thousand people watched online conferences on this topic on our Youtube channel and over Zoom. Accordingly, blogs about the potential impact of COVID-19 on the horticulture business of the EastFruit region (Part 1) and (Part 2) also joined the rating of the most read materials.
The most read news of the year was the publication on the critical impact of bans on the sale of early fruits and vegetables in the wholesale and retail markets of Ukraine, which led to losses for small and medium-sized farmers. One of the first surprises of the impact of the coronavirus on the market was a sharp drop in banana consumption in several countries.
Everyone was also surprised by the drop in prices for early zucchini on the Ukrainian market to 1 UAH/kg when even at such a price there was almost no demand for them. However, soon after, the zucchini rose sharply again as many got rid of them.
Our article on the impact of COVID-19 on the apple market, published before the frost in Europe, stirred great interest. Although the harvest was significantly lower than forecasted and the demand for apples remained high, the world apple trade still declined. The wholesale prices for apples at the very end of 2020, despite the preliminary bright expectations of farmers, are lower in almost all countries of the region than at the same time in 2019.
A number of articles from Uzbekistan also had a huge effect. Residents of the country were outraged by the innovation by Uzbek authorities on the introduction of fines for citizens who did not plant potatoes, vegetables, or fruits on their own plots. This was one of the measures to ensure food safety due to coronavirus.
Our article “Why is Uzbekistan killing their successful greenhouse industry?” was also actively discussed. Soon after, Russia began to close access to its country’s greenhouse vegetable market for various regions of Uzbekistan, and then closed access to Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia.
In 2020, numerous problems with intensive orchards in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and other countries of the region surfaced. In general, disappointment grew in Tajikistan, as the yield was several times lower than promised. We analyzed and ranked the top-10 problems so that farmers could fix and not repeat them. In addition, farmers of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan were outraged by the fact that officials forced them to grow potatoes and vegetables in the aisles of the orchards, although, to be fair, many did this voluntarily and to their own detriment.
Potatoes were in the spotlight in Ukraine as they were imported in large quantities, even from Russia. It is not surprising that the “dirty potatoes” blog caused serious discussions not only in Ukraine. Incidentally, it has already attracted the attention of investors and the EastFruit team is discussing the nuances of the potato business with potential investors.
Given the lack of conferences, exhibitions, forums and trade missions in 2020 due to the pandemic, our article about the fruit and vegetable trade platforms provided on Telegram and Viber and how best to use them had a great response.
Articles about our retail audits of the produce sections of supermarket chains in different countries generated great interest. In this regard, it turned out to be interesting news about the mass closure of supermarkets in Russia during the mass openings of supermarkets in Uzbekistan.
The berry and nut businesses were also in the spotlight. However, we will prepare separate materials on the events in these industries. Here, we just want to point out a unique study conducted in 2020 by our colleagues from APK-Inform: Vegetables and Fruits entitled “The Market for Highbush Blueberries in Eastern Europe-2020” which showed a complete picture of varieties, areas, technologies, production volumes, exports, imports, etc., for Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus. The most important thing is that the information is obtained directly from manufacturers, and not from official statistics. For EastFruit analysts, this study opened their eyes to many developments in the blueberry business in the region.
Speaking of nuts, let’s say that the top materials of our Youtube channel in 2020 were the videos Pistachio Cultivation Technology in California, Seven-Year-Old California Walnut Orchard of the Chandler Variety, How to Get 3 Tons of Walnuts/Hectare in the Third Year, and Technology, Technique, and Economics of Growing and Marketing Almonds in California.
In addition, many watched videos about Gura (Dovcha), Medlar (Japanese plum), correct approaches to pruning apple trees on M9 rootstock by Nina Dmitrash, and pruning table grapes in a greenhouse in Moldova.
Do not forget to subscribe to our Telegram channel and Facebook page in the Russian language to stay up to date with the main events of the region’s produce market in 2021. Also, for those who do not read in Russian, there is information in English – subscribe to our English language Facebook and LinkedIn pages. We hope in 2021 that new countries will join us and we are already working on it!
The use of the site materials is free if there is a direct and open for search engines hyperlink to a specific publication of the East-Fruit.com website.