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Good fruit harvest not much benefit to farmers

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, September 20
This year, Georgians received a very good fruit harvest. However, not all of them were appropriate. The major reason is that there are no many fruit processing facilities in the country. There is no solid market for selling this fruit for export and there is no facility for storage/freezing the products for later export. Though the current administration has promised to build 100 fruit processing factories in the agricultural districts, only a couple of such enterprises were constructed. During the time of the Soviet Union, 77% of fruit products grown in Georgia were from family businesses. Until 2005-2006, 97% was grown on the farms. Almost 25% of produced food was exported to CIS countries, mostly in Russia; closing down the Russian market from 2006 affected Georgian fruit growers harshly. Analysts suggest that the government should facilitate the creation of special businesses so that every big settlement can have small fruit processing facilities that produce jams, juice and preserve fruits.