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Georgian wheat farmers face fresh challenges as new harvest looms

Georgian wheat farmer
Georgian wheat farmer Copyright Euronews
Copyright Euronews
By Sopo Makatsaria
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As last year's crops dampen by the day, Georgian wheat farmers struggle to store and sell this year's harvest due to the war in Ukraine.


Mindia Gushikashvili's crops have doubled compared to this time last year as many farmers in Georgia have expanded their fields to increase supply. 

He says many farmers in Georgia have expanded their fields to help the country escape the possible crop deficit that might occur due to the raging war in Ukraine.

Crop producers will harvest in a few weeks, while their barns are still packed with previous harvests that are yet to sell.

Farmers say there is no demand for their wheat at the market this year, and that the current price is far below its prime.

“It is a disaster for us!” says Gushikashvili. 

Grain is being old at a market price of between 15 and 18 cents, but the cost to produce it is 22 to 25 cents.

Farmers say this year the enhancement of crop fields is more costly because the land rent has crept up. There is also a storage problem. 

Experts say the demand for local wheat has reduced because of the Russia's economic policy. They say Georgia depends a lot on the Russian crop market.

Two years ago, Russia imposed on exports, but exempted flour. This meant, Georgian farmers prefer importing cheaper flour over the expensive crop.

Causing it to become cheaper than Goerigan flour and the preferred product for local buyers.

As a result, barns in Georgia started to fill up after each harvest, putting them at a standstill.

"This led to a situation where farmers could no longer sell their previous year’s harvest to the mills, “ said Levan Silagava, Executive Director of the Georgian Association of Wheat and Flour Producers.

Representatives of the troubled industry continue to communicate with the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia.

Representatives of the troubled industry are in constant communication with the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia. According to the Ministry, they are searching for a solution to relieve wheat producers of their frustration, without raising the market price.

In the meantime, the harvest season falls in less than a month and farmers have little to no idea how (or where) to store the fresh crop while the old crop sits unsold.

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