Georgia takes steps to develop nut industry
BAKU, Azerbaijan, Feb. 14
By Tamilla Mammadova – Trend:
By 2025, small and medium-sized farmers will harvest 11,000 tons of almonds and walnuts in Georgia, and this is a rather serious volume for the country, said Irakli Arzhevanidze, executive director of the Association of Almonds and Walnuts Manufacturers of Georgia, Trend reports citing Georgian media.
Against such expectations, according to Arzhevanidze, the country has practically no modern technologies and equipment for processing almonds and walnuts, and this is a serious challenge for the industry.
"Our Association is working in this direction and is negotiating with investors, so that by 2025 Georgia has the opportunity to sort, store and process the products," the executive director said.
According to Arzhevanidze, association is currently collaborating with a potential investor from Poland, that has visited Georgia, inspected walnut and almond gardens, held meetings with representatives of government agencies that oversee the development of the industry.
“In this case, we are talking about the selection, calibration, warehousing of products, as well as the production of almond milk and almond flour so that it would be possible to export these products. At this stage, we are selecting a specific location for the production and equipment. If everything goes well, the project will be completed by 2023," he said.
By the end of 2019, the total area of almond plantations in the country exceeded 4,000 hectares, and the first commercial harvests are expected from 2020. Gardens of modern walnut varieties occupy more than 3 thousand hectares in Georgia, and a number of them are already bearing fruit, Arzhevanidze added.
According to the National Statistics Service of Georgia, the export (including re-export) of walnuts from Georgia in 2019 amounted to $1.36 million, while the import of walnuts to Georgia over the past year reached $5.42 million.
Export (including re-export) of almonds from Georgia in 2019 amounted to 264,400 dollars. Almond imports to Georgia over the same period exceeded $2,55 million.
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