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Georgian producers look to increase commercial nut production

Georgia boasts an ideal climate and ample water resources for growing almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and hazelnuts. Although hazelnut production is well-established in Georgia – it is one of the top global exporters of hazelnuts – the country remains a net importer of walnuts, pistachios, and almonds. Georgia needs to build the capacity of its producers to become more competitive in domestic and export markets.

Around 150 producers and industry experts will gather in Tbilisi today for a one-day conference entitled “Nuts of Georgia: Efficiency of production and marketing” organized by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and FAO, with support from the European Union (EU) through its EU4Business initiative.

Leading experts from Europe and the United States will share technical knowledge on optimizing the management of almond, pistachio, walnut, and hazelnut orchards, while also addressing the economic aspects of such operations.

Although nuts are not as perishable as fresh produce, they can become rancid if not stored properly. One of the day’s master classes will be devoted to training hazelnut producers on how to dry and store the nuts in order to avoid mould.

The conference and training are part of a broader EBRD/FAO initiative to improve access to high-value markets for farmers in Georgia, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. To date, more than 20 horticulture market-oriented conferences with practical technology-focused training events have been held in the project countries, sparking new investment interest in modern horticultural production.

The east-fruit.com platform, supported by the project and managed by several horticultural associations, provides daily high-quality market information to help 2,700 growers, importers, and exporters in 22 countries facilitate trade deals. The platform already sees around 50,000 users each month in the target countries and elsewhere.

The initiative complements the Georgian Government’s Plant the Future programme, which supports the planting of walnut and almond orchards.

1 October, Tbilisi, Georgia

 

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