The EastFruit team audited supermarket fruit and vegetable departments in eight cities in five countries on November 24-25, 2020. For the first time ever, kiwi fruit was included in our audit since its consumption is growing very rapidly worldwide. Tajikistan was expected to have the lowest presence of kiwis since the population’s income level is the lowest among all countries in the region. Also, it lags behind in the presence of supermarket chains and international trade development. However, we were pleasantly surprised to see kiwis were present on the shelves of almost all supermarket chains in Khujand and Dushanbe.
Kiwis first appeared in Tajikistan quite recently, but it has already gained popularity considering mass consumption of this fruit is associated with the holiday season. Despite the growth in import volumes, they are not yet comparable with the major imports of kiwis from Iran back in 2015-2016. After an unofficial ban on imports from Iran, this fruit began to be imported from Turkey. Imports of kiwi from Pakistan and Chile have also increased. However, this fruit cannot replace the affordable Iranian product in the Tajik market, where the price is the most important indicator.
Kiwi imports and consumption reached 751 tons in 2015, but fell to 138 and 271 tons in 2018 and 2019, respectively. In monetary terms, import volumes are presented in the table below.