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Georgian tangerines go out of the shadow2013-02-18 20:03
Late last year, the Georgian farmers, growing citrus, had big problems with the sale of the crop. It seemed that the Georgian tangerines failed to find a buyer. Every second farmer had to sell citrus at ridiculously low price. In connection with the situation the farmers had not only organized mass protests but also resorted to extreme measures. Thus, they stated that they would destroy all citrus trees if the government does not meet their demands. Protest that has engulfed the entire Adjara brought unexpected results.
Today the market for citrus has changed radically. Despite the raging passion and a lot of unresolved issues in the country, the agricultural industry is gradually evolving.
Adjara branch of the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia stated they have found a solution. According to information we received at the Ministry, at this stage they have exported 28,000 tons of citrus, and this process continues until late February. We can say that the problem of low prices has also settled. Now the prices for mandarins, compared to December and early January, are relatively high.
Representatives of Agriculture of Adjara say that by this time the farmers have already sold major part of the crop to the factory, and the sale of the rest will be completed by late February. No problems are being expected. Government has allocated from the budget 2 million GEL in the form of aid to the farmers from Adjara and Guria.
The head of the Department of Agriculture of Adjara Levan Bolkvadze claims that the problem with the sale of citrus were settled, and promises that the farmers will sell the rest of the crop at a higher price by the end of the month.
Kobuleti citrus processing factory today pays 20 tetri per kg of tangerines, while the government of Adjara has added another 15 tetri.
"I must say that all the issues with citrus are settled, especially regarding prices and sales. At this stage, the price of one kg of mandarins amounts 1.5-2 GEL. As for the exports, this time 28,000 tons of citrus have been exported to several countries - Ukraine, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Moldova. Trial party of citrus was sent to Iran and Austria. According to our estimates, the volume of exports this year, compared to the last year, has increased by 3-4", said Levan Bolkvadze. "Even in the relatively favorable 2011, the exports amounted only 11,000 tons. This year, exports have increased by 38-40 thousand tons. Our further efforts will be reduced to maintaining high price, which must contribute to the development of the industry".