Despite Georgian farmers cannot sell apples and are forced to throw away fruits, imports do not stop, Vakhtang Bezhitashvili, head of the Georgian Fruit Exporters Association, states.

In 3 months of 2023, Georgia purchased 1,002 tons of apples worth $415,700, including  722 tons from Turkey.

“Farmers throw away apples, but import in large volumes continues. The current situation  is due to the country doesn’t have savings and refrigeration farms, apart from that, new varieties are not introduced either. The country doesn’t implement new technologies to store perishable products for a long time. All this boosts import growth,” he points out.

Vakhtang Bezhitashvili believes that in the current situation the state should protect the interests of local farmers. 

“Import restrictions should be introduced. Protectionism sounds unpopular, but on the other side of the scale is the country’s food security,” says Bezhitashvili.