According to EastFruit experts, in 10 days Tajikistan will start harvesting a new crop of raspberries from open fields. Encouraged by high prices for raspberries in previous seasons, the country’s farmers have expanded the area under this crop. In 2023 they also expect high prices for these berries, but will these plans materialize?
“Many farmers expect the first batches of fresh raspberries to sell for around $3/kg when shipped from the farm, just like it was a year ago. They believe that raspberry prices could drop to $2 per kg in June. At the same time, raspberries of the second harvest, which starts in Tajikistan in August, are usually sold for a higher price than the first one,” says Bakhtiyor Abduvohidov, international consultant at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
By the way, on May 23, Bakhtiyor Abduvokhidov will make a presentation at a unique conference dedicated to revolutionary digital technologies for horticulture and vegetable growing in the region “HortiTech opportunities for Uzbekistan”.
However, EastFruit experts warn farmers against exaggerated expectations regarding raspberry prices in 2023. “We see several very unpleasant signs for raspberry producers in 2023. First of all, there are unusually large stocks of unsold frozen raspberries, which are kept in warehouses by producers and traders in all regions, including Uzbekistan. Accordingly, it is not so easy to sell frozen raspberries now at $2 per kg, so, of course, in such a situation, freezers will not buy raspberries not only at $3, but also at $2 or even one and a half dollars per kg. Cultivated area of raspberries in Central Asia has expanded sharply, as well as in most countries in Europe. This means that there will be more raw materials while the demand for it, on the contrary, will be lower, which never contributes to price growth,” explains Andriy Yarmak, an economist at the FAO Investment Centre.
We wrote more about the cyclical nature of raspberry prices in our material, which is available at this link. In January 2023, we reported about the difficult situation in the frozen raspberry market in Europe, but since then the situation has not only not improved, but has become even more difficult.
However, since the early raspberries will be sold mainly to the fresh market, farmers may well get the expected prices. Moreover, the first batches of 22-24 berries will be harvested by farmers who grow raspberries near the capital of Tajikistan, Dushanbe. Around the beginning of June, farmers in the north of Tajikistan will start harvesting, after which the price reduction may end up being faster than in 2022.
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