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Georgia Earned US$ 18.5mn from Blueberry exports in 2023

ლურჯი მოცვი
BM. GE
04.08.23 20:00
36

Georgia started ramping up blueberry production from 2019, driven by government and donor support. The total area of blueberry-cultivated land in Georgia has exceeded 2,000 ha by end-2022. As a result, Blueberry production increased 8.5x over 2019-23, from 0.5mn kg in 2019 to an estimated 4.0mn kg in 2023, reads the recent publiaction of Galt & Taggart on Blueberry Business in Georgia. 

According to the publication, "Georgian blueberry orchards yield 14.5 tons per hectare, placing the country at 7th place globally, thanks to favorable climate and new plant species. Consequently, with the existing orchards, we expect the blueberry production to reach 25mn kg by 2027 from 4mn kg currently.

Blueberry exports doubled in 2023, reaching 3.0mn kg, valued at US$ 18.5mn. In 2023, the average export price of Georgian blueberries stood at US$ 6.1 /kg. The main export destination is Russia, accounting for over 90% of total exports. However, the country is actively exploring alternative markets, with shipments to Germany, the Netherlands, and Poland in June 2023. These markets look promising, particularly during the June-July period when Georgia's exports are most active.

Despite rapid growth, Georgia's blueberry sector is relatively young, offering both opportunities and challenges. The anticipated surge in production over the next 5-10 years requires a focus on diversifying export markets. To address these issues, the industry must prioritize quality control, shelf life extension, and export market diversification, along with investing in cold storage and other infrastructure. Additionally, exploring processed blueberry products can further enhance the industry's potential," the authors of the publication conclude.