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Citrus harvest issues

By Messenger staff
Friday, November 21
This year’s citrus harvest is nearly half last year’s. In 2007 it was 102,000 tonnes , but this year 55,000 tonnes are expected. Out of this amount 5,000 tonnes will be processed as concentrate and around 60% will be exported, mostly to Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Armenia.

As Abkhazia is not under Georgia’s control at present the major citrus growing regions in the country are Adjara, where in 2007 more than 80,000 tonnes were gathered, Samegrelo where more than 5,000 were harvested and Guria, where over 13 tonnes were produced.

Until 2006 Russia was the major destination for Georgia’s citrus export. Since the confrontation started between the countries Georgia is reorienting its export, but this is a slow process.

This year, as the harvest was not so big, it is less difficult to place it, and farmers can take their harvest to the factories and exporters quite confidently. Last year Georgian exported 43,000 tonnes of citrus fruit to Ukraine, 19,000 to Azerbaijan, 8,000 to Armenia, 170 to Uzbekistan, 74 to Moldova and 120 to Belarus. More than 11,000 tonnes was processed locally and the rest consumed in the local markets.