Exports of mandarins from Adjara in the 2022-2023 season amounted to about 15 500 tonnes, the Ministry of Agriculture of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara told EastFruit.
According to the ministry, the season is almost over, and there have been no exports in recent days.
The main export markets for Adjarian mandarins this season were Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan.
The ministry noted that the season was successful in terms of organization. A coordination center was operating to facilitate the harvesting and sales of mandarins, as well as to provide subsidies for sales of non-standard mandarins. About 20 enterprises received and did pre-export refinement of mandarins, without any interruptions in the work or queues.
Meanwhile, the export volume of mandarins this season was more than twice lower as in the 2021-2022 season (37 200 tonnes). According to the Minister of Agriculture of Adjara, Zaza Shavadze, the decline in exports is due to both a relatively low harvest and an increase in domestic demand.
“About 15 500 tonnes were exported, which is considerably less than in the previous season. There are reasons for this. Firstly, the year was less fruitful due to the periodicity of fruiting. The harvest was also affected by the weather conditions – there were frosts in early spring, it was very damp and rainy in July, and dry in August. As a result, we got lower volumes in autumn, and the quality was not good enough for large exports. Besides, the consumer market has increased this season both in Batumi and in Georgia, which allowed to sell large volumes of local mandarins in the domestic market, and it contributed to lower exports,” Zaza Shavadze told on the air of Ajara TV.
Read also: Kobuleti cannery received 5.4 thousand tonnes of non-standard mandarins from Georgian farmers in the 2022-2023 season
Zaza Shavadze noted that the ministry is taking measures to assist local farmers in increasing the yield of citrus orchards and the quality of fruits. As for agricultural extension, farmers are introduced to modern methods of orchard care. In addition, within the framework of the program for promoting the development of citrus growing, the citrus plant nursery in Chakvi owned by Agroservice Center is working to update varieties (seedlings from this nursery are sold to farmers at reduced prices).
“It is impossible to maintain the high quality of mandarins without updating varieties and equipping new orchards. Many orchards are old, and this affects the quality to a certain extent. If we want to be competitive in international markets, we must produce more high-quality and competitive products. We will continue to educate farmers on the proper care for orchards, and new seedlings will be a good long-term investment for them,” the minister said.
Adjara is the main supplier of Georgian mandarins to the market. Official data on the 2022 citrus harvest has not yet been published. On the eve of the season, it was expected that the harvest of citrus fruits in Adjara (more than 90% of the harvest – mandarins) will be up to 45 000 tonnes.
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