'farmers have defeated the stinkbug'

Georgian hazelnut exports up 49%

The Georgian government has announced that the nation’s farmers have defeated the stinkbug which has been destroying walnut crops throughout Western Georgia since 2016. As a result of this, the export of hazelnuts has grown by 49 percent; a great success for the country’s economy as nuts are among the ten largest export goods.

In the period from August 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021, nuts for a value of $79.2 million were exported from Georgia. This is $26.8 million more than in the same period in 2019.

The marmorated stink bug feeds on plants, and hazelnuts are among the most preferred in its diet. The first crop was almost completely lost in 2016, the next were only partially saved, despite massive measures and international assistance.

For more than three years, most farmers did not receive anything at all – the nuts were almost completely rotten,” says Roman Chakhaia, a resident of the village of Kakhati in Samegrelo.

The blow was struck on an area of ​​about 70 hectares in the regions of Samegrelo and Guria. Family farms were able not only to retain, but also to develop this business here, despite at least a decade in the difficult 1990s, when they did not receive any support from the state at all. The damage in 2017 alone exceeded 60 million lari [about $24 million].

The strategic pest control plan was drawn up with the help of a biologist at the University of Pennsylvania, Professor Greg Kravchuk. 7.5 million lari [about $3 million] were allocated from the budget. Georgia received an additional $8 million in aid from the United States.

Jam-news.net listed the top countries for Georgian nuts in 2020:

  • Germany – 4,165 tons
  • Italy – 3,766 tons
  • Czech Republic – 716 tons
  • Lithuania – 442 tons
  • Poland – 376 tons
  • Spain – 430 tons
  • Bulgaria – 345 tons
  • France – 359 tons
  • Latvia – 128 tons
  • Greece – 97 tons
  • Estonia – 88 tons
  • Slovakia – 86 tons
  • Luxembourg – 84 tons
  • Belgium – 44 tons
  • Austria – 22 tons
  • Croatia – 10 tons


Photo source: Dreamstime.com

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