The FINANCIAL — Hazelnut export exceeded last year’s export for the same period and totaled 4,466 tonnes. The top 3 countries where Georgia exported hazelnuts were Germany, Italy and Czechia. Also, 1,054 tonnes of apples have been exported from Georgia which is 375% more compared to the same period of last year. Georgia expects to harvest 50 000 tones of hazelnuts this year. This year’s hazelnut harvest was abundant and of high quality as successful measures were taken against the Asian stink bug.
As of 24 September, 4,466 tonnes of hazelnuts have been exported from Georgia, exceeding last year’s exports for the same period by 74%.
Georgian hazelnut export markets are mainly comprised of EU countries.
The export data are as follows:
Germany (1392.9 tonnes)
Italy (808.8 tonnes)
The Czech Republic (280.3 tonnes)
Spain (165 tonnes)
Poland (192 tonnes)
France (125 tonnes)
Lithuania (143.7 tonnes)
Greece (34.7 tonnes)
Austria (22 tonnes)
Estonia (22 tonnes)
Latvia (21 tonnes)
It is noteworthy that as a result of large-scale and successful measures taken against the Asian stink bug, this year’s hazelnut harvest was abundant and of high-quality.
About 50,000 tonnes of high quality hazelnuts are expected to be harvested in Georgia this year, announced the Ministry of Agriculture last month. The Georgian Ministry of Agriculture said that farmers are expecting an exceptionally high quality harvest thanks to the Georgia Hazelnut Improvement Project that was launched in 2019, as reported by agenda.ge
The Georgia Hazelnut Improvement Project is funded and implemented by the Global Development Alliance (GDA) (USAID, Ferrero, and CNFA) to increase the sustainable capacity and private sector development of the hazelnut industry in Georgia.
Also, As of 24 September, 1,054 tonnes of apples have been exported from Georgia, exceeding last year’s exports for the same period by 832 tonnes (+375%). Revenue from the exported apples exceeded last year’s figure for the same period by $321,000. Apple orchards were planted across an area of 1,128 hectares within the framework of the state program Plant the Future. State co-financing amounted to more than 9 million GEL.
In August of 2020, it was announced that with state and USAID financial support a new hazelnut enterprise established in Kvareli. A new hazelnut collection, processing, and storage farm will serve about 300 farmers in the Kakheti region and employ 16 local residents. The enterprise was built with support from the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, the Agricultural and Rural Development Agency, Ferrero, and the Georgian Hazelnut Improvement Project.
It should be noted that, when USAID first started supporting hazelnut production in Georgia in 2011, the sector was known for disorganization and inefficiency. Despite Georgia being the world’s sixth-largest producer of in-shell hazelnuts, its farmers and processors lacked commercial viability. Most production came from small-scale farmers producing less than one ton of hazelnuts annually. Demand was unstable, with most of the product being sold to market speculators at low prices. Quality varied tremendously and uncertainty was the norm. As one farmer put it, “the only thing you can trust is the price.” Inadequate transportation and storage were significant barriers to the sector’s development.