High-tunnel Georgian growers switch from tomatoes and cucumbers to blueberries

EastFruit analysts highlight unusually high import volumes of cucumbers and tomatoes in the 2022-2023 off-season. There are issues with the local high tunnels, which are key local suppliers during the off-season, along with the greenhouses. Of course, the increased demand also contributes to the surge of imports.

Open-field production strongly dominates the market in only three months in Georgia. These are July, August, and September. October is a bit of a transition period, and then the market leans on the production from local greenhouses, high tunnels, and imports from Turkey.

So far, imports of cucumbers and tomatoes are peaking in the current off-season. Since the start of October 2022, Georgia has imported more than 11 thousand tons of cucumbers and 17 thousand tons of tomatoes. Practically all of the imports came from Turkey. Imported volumes in 2022-2023 October-April are 44% higher for cucumbers and 60% higher for tomatoes compared to the average import volumes in the same period of the previous 8 off-seasons.

EastFruit team discussed the issue with several owners of high tunnels from western Georgia, a region where this model was generally deemed to be profitable during the off-season. Every source mentioned that this time around the production volume from high tunnels has decreased. The outlook for tomato and cucumber farming this way does not look good.

Read more at east-fruit.com

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