Despite the continuing high demand for lemons in Tajikistan, the product’s wholesale prices dropped by 19-20% within one week. On January 25, 1 kilogram of lemons on the small wholesale market was worth 17-18 somoni ($1.5-1.59). In early February, the price was already 13-14 somoni ($1.15-1.23).
Tajikistan is the largest lemon producer in the Central Asian region. Currently, more than 600 hectares are allocated for this crop. Tajik farmers annually produce from 12,000 to 15,000 tons of quality lemons. Last year, exports amounted to about 7,500 tons, which is significantly higher than in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic also contributed to the growth in exports of this product. Because of the pandemic, Tajik lemons’ demand in the foreign market increased sharply in the spring and summer last year.
Farmers have already sold most of the lemons grown last year. They left a certain amount for storage. However, according to experts, many of these warehouses are not suitable for storing lemons. Also, not all farmers are well aware of the rules for storing citrus fruits. Some lemons are losing their quality, and farmers are ready to sell them at current prices to avoid losing profits.
“The area of lemonariums and the production of lemons in Tajikistan is growing every year. Today lemon is an important export product,” says Fayzullo Usmanov, an expert on prices for fruits and vegetables.
“Tajik farmers have learned how to get high yields of lemons, but they will get even more profit from their work if they learn how to store them properly and sell them at a time when the demand for this citrus product is increasing. I believe that the time has come to build specialized refrigeration facilities for storing lemons in the republic,” the specialist concluded.
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