The cultivation of berries is becoming increasingly popular among farmers in Georgia. The necessity of diversification in agricultural production and opportunities in the EU market have led farmers and the state to place greater focus on the sector.
At present, many international organizations’ projects, as well as state programs, are directed towards the development of this sector. The objective of this policy document is to:
• Assess the potential of the main varieties of berry on the EU market;
• Identify the challenges and opportunities of the berry value chain;
• Provide recommendations to the value chain actors.
The information provided in this policy document is based on a literature review, an analysis of statistical data, and individual interviews with producers, experts, and public sector representatives.
In recent years, the farming production of berry crops has become extremely popular. Where previously berry crops grew mostly under wild conditions and were utilized domestically by family farms, presently, the production of berries is characterized by greater levels of commercialization, aided by the import of new varieties of berry from other countries.1 Since berries have gained popularity among farmers, in just the last few years, most cultivated orchards have not yet fully entered fructification. The statistical data from 2017 reveals that berry production in Georgia was almost three times higher than the indicators from 2013 and 2014, which suggests an increasing pace in production.
The regional distribution of sown areas of berries in 2017 shows that the largest areas were located in Kakheti (867 ha), Shida Kartli (485 ha), and Imereti (304 ha). As the data further highlights, berries are being cultivated in every Georgian region.