Decreased citrus harvest in Georgia
Wednesday, October 22As soon as the grape harvest was gathered, the citrus fruit harvest began. Together with viniculture this branch of agriculture is one of the most successful in Georgia. But the Ministry of Agriculture predicts that this citrus harvest will be much lower than last year’s.
In 2007 Georgia harvested 93.6 thousand tonnes of tangerines, 3.7 thousand tonnes of oranges and 1.6 thousand tonnes of lemons. The major market for Georgian citrus fruit was always Russia, but since 2006 and the Russian embargo this market has been closed, and after the August war it is likely to remain so for many, many years. However in the last two years Georgian citrus fruit has found new markets much more easily than Georgian wine. By March 2008 Georgia had exported to Ukraine around 43 thousand tonnes of citrus fruit, to Azerbaijan around 19 thousand tonnes, 8 thousand tonnes had gone to Armenia and 175 tonnes to Uzbekistan, with similar amounts entering other former Soviet countries. More than 11 thousand tones of tangerines were processed and more than 10 thousand tonnes sold within Georgia.
Currently Georgia does not control Abkhazian citrus production. However in 2007 Adjara produced 80 thousand tonnes of citrus fruit, Guria 13 thousand tones and Samegrelo 5 thousand tones.
This year the Ministry of Agriculture estimates that the citrus harvest will decrease twofold. Of course the limited harvest will result in the price increase of the product. As last year the citrus price was between 0.4 to 1 GEL, this year it could increase to 2 or more GEL.