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The season’s first asparagus became available on the Georgian market

The season’s first asparagus has become available on the Georgian market. Although it takes a few more weeks for the open-field production to start, asparagus produced in the high tunnels are already sold. At the moment, the retail price of asparagus in specialized fruit and vegetable stores and supermarkets is about 55 GEL/kg ($21.19).

One of the indoor asparagus producers in Georgia is the cooperative “Ozaani”, which, in addition to 6 hectares of open field production in eastern Georgia, Dedoplistskaro municipality, has 4 000 sq.m. of high tunnel. This year, the cooperative expects to harvest up to one tonne of asparagus only from the high tunnel, which will be sold in supermarket chains in Tbilisi, including Agrohub, Nikora, and Carrefour. Sales will start in two days. This season the price offered by the supermarkets will probably be lower compared to last season. If last year they were selling early harvest for 40 GEL/kg ($15.41), now the estimated price will be 35 GEL ($13.48), although the retail price will increase by the supermarket profit margin. Gigolashvili explains the lower price with the Georgian Lari’s strengthening to the US dollar, compared to last year.

Read also: Eximcrop helps Georgian producers to sell apples in the Gulf countries

The open-field harvesting season will start in about three weeks and the prices will drop significantly. According to Jaba Gigolashvili, the co-founder of the “Ozaani” cooperative, wholesale prices are expected to drop to 10-12 GEL/kg at the peak of the season. The cooperative expects to harvest 15-20 tonnes of asparagus from the open field this season, which will last until June 10.

According to Gigolashvili, as the demand for asparagus is increasing year by year in Georgia, the cooperative has increased its production over the years and is planning to increase it in the future. This season the cooperative plans to sell frozen asparagus offseason. The cooperative has a cold storage facility, built with the financial support of the USAID agriculture program in Georgia. Ozaani will purchase asparagus from other farmers during the season to make stock for frozen production. According to Gigolashvili, they will purchase up to one tonne this season. Frozen asparagus from Ozaani will be sold in 1 kg packages in supermarket chains.

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