The Georgian government is forced to continue subsidizing citrus growers – otherwise, the companies will not buy non-standard citrus from the population.
In 2013, the price of non-standard citrus was GEL 0.20-0.22 per kilogram, according to businessmen, a situation will be similar this year.
However, they are not willing to pay more than GEL 0.10-0.12 per kg. Respectively, the government will have to allocate at least GEL 0.10 per kg.
The company Citro plans to buy about 100 tons of non-standard citrus from a population this season, which will be processed.
According to the company’s Director Merab Metreveli, management does not intend to pay more than GEL 0.10- 0.12 per kilogram.
“The subsidizing is assistance to farmers more than to business that buys citrus. It’s unprofitable for peasants even to collect tangerines and oranges for that price which suits us. And when the government adds GEL 0.10 , it’s a different matter. Then there’s some meaning in their work,”- Metreveli notes.
The company Citro produces juices under the brand name Livo, the products are sold in Georgia and Russia.
The company Kula intends to purchase 1 000 tons if the purchase price for non-standard citrus is the same as last year.
The company’s Director Ivane Goglidze believes that subsidies are necessarily required.
“Transportation of citrus from western Georgia is associated with costs. For this reason, last year the price per kilogram reached GEL 0.30-0.35. If this year the price hikes, or the state doesn’t subsidize, we most likely will buy no more than 100-200 tons,”- the businessman says.
Kula produces juices, jams, preserves from non-standard citruses; the products are sold in the United States, Canada, Russia, Azerbaijan and other countries.
Issue of subsidizing the citrus industry will be decided by the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia in the near future.