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Grape harvests, increased exports, low prices

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, September 26
The grape harvest is in its active phase in Georgia’s eastern wine region of Kakheti, where as of today, 85,000 tonnes of grapes have been processed.

Official figures read that 11,000 grape growers in Kakheti received about 96 million GEL in income after selling their grapes.

About 100 wine companies are involved in grape processing, which on average process about 5,000 tonnes of grape per day.

The Wine Agency reported that the grape harvest is almost completed in the Dedoplistskaro and Sighnaghi areas of Kakheti, while the remaining seven municipalities are still continuing to reap the benefits of a bumper harvest.

Local growers have processed the following grape varieties:
Rkatsiteli - 40,000 tonnes
Saperavi – 39,000 tonnes
KakhuriMtsvane – 2,600 tonnes

This year the government refused to subside grape, as they say, due to the increase in the wine export, diversification of export markets, a broader vine making, a cheap agro insurance and agro credit and similar reasons.

Only for those wineries which buy Rkatsiteli and KakhuriMtsvane, which sell at no less than 70 tetri per kilogram, to produce brand alcohol or grape juice, receive 35 tetri subsidy for each kilogram of grape.

Locals say that they sell 1kg grapes for 70-80 Gel, and out of this money 15 tetri is the sum they spent for having the harvest.

Those who are involved in grape growing know very well how hard the harvest time can be, as vines require much attention and care.

Selling 1kg grape for 70-80 tetries is a very low price which can easily demotivate farmers.

This means that increased exports are not reflected in the lives of the farmers, the people who are the main actors in the process.