Kazakh investors look to import Georgian produce
By Shorena Labadze
Friday, August 8Kazakh investors have visited Georgia to investigate the Georgian agricultural sector and negotiate the export of fruit and vegetables to Kazakhstan.
The representatives from Mangystau province arrived in Georgia at the beginning of August to conduct talks with the government of coastal Adjara province and the central Agriculture Ministry.
The investors were interested in developing trade with Georgian regions with large agricultural output and visited Adjara, Shida Kartli and Kvemo Kartli.
According to Agriculture Ministry spokeswoman Bela Giorgadze, a memorandum between the investors and the Ministry was signed on fruit and vegetable exports and discussions held on possible citrus sales.
She noted the popularity of Georgian agricultural goods in the Kazakh market: “Georgian fruit and vegetables have become very popular in Kazakhstan, they are very well known there.”
An exhibition market will be held to display the quality and variety of Georgian produce to Kazakh consumers and investors. The market will “improve the popularity of our local products in [Kazakhstan’s] Mangystau region,” Giorgadze told the Messenger.
In Adjara the investors visited citrus processing factories and met with representatives of the Adjara Agriculture Ministry to discuss increasing trade between the two regions.
Giorgadze highlighted the visitor’s interested in the important citrus crop.
“In Adjara they are mostly interested in citruses and citrus products. Whether or not a final agreement can be reached on the export of these goods depends on the final decision of both parties.”
The citrus crop is of particular concern to the residents of Adjara who have found it difficult to sell their produce at an attractive price.
Residents hope that a new deal on citrus will help them to get better returns on their labor.
“No one cares about Adjara and its residents having to do unbearable work all year long and then sell produce for small change. I would be very glad if something changes. We love our region and our farms, but we must see results after all our hard work,” says Nino Davitashvili, a 53-year-old resident of Adjara.
Fruit and vegetable export is planned for September when harvests begin.
Mangystau is an oil-exporting province in southwest Kazakhstan that according to the Agriculture Ministry imports around 80 percent of its vegetable supply.