This year, Georgia plans to collect up to 55 thousand tons of hazelnuts and receive more than $ 100 million from the export of the product. News-Georgia writes about this with reference to the statement of the Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia Levan Davitashvili at a meeting with farmers in the Khobi municipality (Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region).
Hazelnuts are the main agricultural product in Georgia. As one of the ten largest export commodities in the country, nuts are a source of income for about 50,000 farmers and dozens of processors.
Georgia is firmly entrenched in the list of the five largest hazelnut-producing countries, but its position was undermined by the invasion of marble bugs. The fight against the pest has been going on for several years. The EU and the US are helping the Georgian authorities in this process.
“The hazelnut sector has faced great challenges in recent years. Due to the joint work of the state and farmers, these difficulties were overcome. We can say with confidence that the 2020 harvest will be exceptionally good, both in terms of quantity and quality,” Davitashvili reported.
Harvesting of nuts will begin in Western Georgia in the coming days. The head of the Ministry of Agriculture urged farmers to strictly follow the protocol and continue processing orchards according to the established schedule.
Davitashvili is confident that the hazelnut sector will play an important role in overcoming the economic problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
“In accordance with the trends of this year, a rather high price is expected in the international markets, so the 2020-21 season should be financially successful for farmers as well,” he said.
This year, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia continues the Hazelnut Improvement Project, within the framework of which farmers can obtain high-quality pesticides at discounted prices. They are also given equipment for spraying work and receive the necessary consultations.
The program has been implemented since 2019 in cooperation with the Georgian Hazelnut Growers Association, which unites tens of thousands of Georgian farmers. As indicated in the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, due to the joint work of the state and the private sector, in 2019, compared to the previous year, farmers were able to get a good harvest of hazelnuts.
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