The Cost of Grapes Remains Low Despite Growth in Exports

access_time2017-09-25 12:17:44

Despite the ruling party’s promises made during the pre-election campaign in 2012 that the purchase price of grapes will not be less than 1 GEL per kilogram, the cost of the product does not exceed 70-80 tetri.

The financial situation of the wine growers is worsened by the government’s decision to  stop paying subsidies, and now the price is completely determined by the market.

Peasants and farmers who grow grapes consider the instability of prices as the main problem.

"How can a kilogram of grapes cost less than GEL 1? Even GEL 1 is not enough, considering how much labor is required to grow grapes and what costs are needed for this, "said Bidzina Ivanishvili, a leader of the then oppositional Georgian Dream, said during the election campaign in 2012.

Director  of the National Wine Agency Giorgi Samanishvili says that the state cannot be responsible for setting prices on the market.

"Our duty is to pursue a policy in the field of winemaking and viticulture that develops the sector. We already have concrete results- grapes are fully sold and processed without the participation of the state, exclusively on market terms. Most farmers and business are satisfied with procurement prices. We do everything the recognition and export of Georgian wine to grow, which in turn will lead to increased demand for grapes," he says.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia, the incomes of wine growers totaled GEL 81.5 million this year. 70 000 tons of grapes were harvested and processed, up to 90 wine companies were involved  in the process.

The National Wine Agency says  the growth in demand for grapes is associated with the increased exports. In particular, in 2016 the income of winemaking companies amounted to $ 113. 5 million, whereas in 8 months of 2017 it amounted to  more than $ 100 million.

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