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Wednesday, 20 June 2018


Grape revolt in Sakartvelo

2011-09-30 15:25

Grape revolt in Sakartvelo. 22673.jpegThe government deceives Georgia's wine makers again. Every year the country leaders promise to eliminate problems of grape purchases from the population. Yet, problems emerge every autumn. This week residents of Dzveli Anaga village unable to sell saperavi and rkatsiteli grapes to wineries had to organize an improvised protest rally. Alas, it had no effect: local authorities think that claims of the farmers are not serious.


Rtveli, a period of grape crops in Georgia, is good for farmers this year. Sunny and rainy days were just enough to produce sweet, full-flavored and sapid fruit. There is only one "but": it is much more difficult to sell them than in harvestless years. Georgian wine plants limit purchases from the population for a trivial reason: their wines are not sold well enough. The Russian market is still a secret dream.

That is why when minister of agriculture Bakur Kvezereli promises that the grape crops will be collected and processed in full, don't trust him. In the run-up to rtveli period he met with farmers as well as leaders of wine plants stating: "On the basis of requests from the wineries we can say no special problems are expected". According to him, 32 pick-up sections working with 27 companies will purchase grapes from farmers.

Rtveli began on August 25, and for the whole month things were as fine as Kvezereli promised. Yet, this week an alarming signal came from Signahi district of Georgia. Nearly 200 residents of Dzveli Anaga village organized a protest rally claiming that rkatsiteli crops they had gathered are rotting and wine plants keep their pick-up sections locked up.

Money for the grape crops is the only source of income for many of these people. Village residents in Georgia are considered as self-employed, and have no other job. Yet, they are not referred to the unemployed. In order to make two ends meet they simply have no other choice but to sell their harvest. That is why Anaga residents took their juicy crops to other places.  

In Kvareli crops have a lower price, 45 tetri, but little is better than nothing. "My neighbor took three trucks of grapes but he was told the crops have a too low percentage of sugar, so he got only 30 tetri per kilo in the end". The resident of the village went to the land's end in order to sell his crops twice cheaper than locally.

Another wine plant, Baisubani, offered 55 tetri per kilo to peasants, but to be paid in installments: half of the amount will be paid by the end of the year or in January 2012.

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