Georgia: In the first quarter of 2022, avocado imports to Georgia climbed by 130 per cent in volume during the same time in 2021. The Netherlands and Turkey are the leading exporters of valuable fruit. And if the Netherlands were the leader in supplies, then in the first quarter of 2022, over 50% of the avocados were supplied by Turkey, which grew the exports of avocados to Georgia by over fivefold.
Georgia imported 71 tonnes of avocados in April, a 130 per cent increase over April 2021. According to EastFruit analysts, the quick rise in avocado popularity is due to an increase in the number of international visitors who are familiar with and enjoy avocados.
According to Geostat, non-resident visitors to Georgia increased by 4.3 times in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. Moreover, half of those arriving are between the ages of 31 and 50, and 33.6 per cent are women. Citizens of Turkey (104.7 per cent growth), the Russian Federation, Armenia, Georgia (non-residents), Azerbaijan, Israel, Ukraine, Iran, the EU, and other countries crossed the Georgian border the most.
The increase in demand for exotics also encouraged local producers to experiment, and the first commercial avocado orchard was planted in Guria in 2021. The first winter, according to a representative of Geonuts Company, the owner of Georgia’s first avocado grove, was vital for the crop. Even though the seedlings were shielded from the cold, frost ruined 90% of them.
The avocado variety was not frost-resistant enough, according to the firm, and the Guria area had a very harsh winter this year. The minimum temperature was -5 degrees in the winter, but the sensitivity was -8 degrees due to the high humidity in this area.
Despite the cold, the seedlings should not have suffered any damage. The seedlings had to resist frosts as low as -10 degrees, according to the nursery’s literature. Despite the unfortunate experience, the company does not plan to give up growing avocados, East-Fruit reports.