According to EastFruit, wholesale prices for fresh strawberries fell below $1 per kg at the end of last week in Tajikistan. For comparison, wholesale prices in neighboring Uzbekistan are 5-6 times higher – around $6 per kg. Wholesale buyers in Ukraine pay around $8 per kg.
However, strawberries from greenhouses are sold in Ukraine and the season is just beginning. In Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, open field berries are already available. The first wholesale lots appeared on the market only this week in Uzbekistan, but Tajikistan has already been selling strawberries for more than a month.
Such a huge difference in wholesale prices for berries in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan is due to several reasons. First of all, the production of strawberries in Tajikistan began to develop much earlier. Also, foreign selection of strawberries has been used here for a long time, and consumers are used to low prices for berries in the spring. The second reason stands in the fact that Tajikistan does not develop the exports of fresh strawberries and they process them, primarily freezing. Freezing could bring considerable income to the country and additional income to producers, and a huge trade channel. Moreover, high-quality berries can be grown with a high BRIX level, which could be sold at high export prices.
Yulia Tymoshenko, head of the Tiferet project from Moldova, spoke about the prospects for the production and export of frozen strawberries and other fruits and vegetables at the FAO and EBRD fruit and vegetable investment conference in March 2021. The presentation is available here. Sergiy Yastreb, General Director of Yagodnaya Polyana LLC from the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, spoke about the prospects for growing premium quality early berries in Central Asia. The presentation is available here.
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