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Herbia: Domestic Market is Unprotected

Herbia, one of the major manufacturer of greenery in Georgia, asks the Government to foster domestic production.

The company director told Business Contract that currently domestic production is able to replace imported products, but the domestic market is unprotected and domestic manufacturers do not have support. In 2016 Georgia imported about 25-27 thousand tons of agrarian products. Domestic manufactures cannot produce the same volume of products because of expensive energy carriers,, Zurab Janelidze said.

“Government does not support us, gas and electricity tariffs have increased and these factors frustrate our efforts to replace exports. Primary production should be subsidized. If energy carriers are subsidized,  we will ensure continuous production to replace imports”, Zurab Janelidze said.

Georgia imports about 100 million USD products from Turkey, Armenia and Iran. This signifies the country loses about 100 million USD financial resources, while domestic enterprises have potential to ensure exports of the same amount, he said.

Our company is ready to launch exports to EU market, but problems exist because of small volume of products, he added.

“If farmers unite efforts and create cooperatives, required volumes will be produced and we will be able to satisfy even one target market. There is much demand for Georgian greenery, but at this stage we cannot ensure yearlong supply of products to the market”, Zurab Janelidze said.

Georgia is able to export green vegetable to European market for affordable tariffs, he added.

“In Poland the price of one kilogram of greenery is 25-30 EUR, while in Georgia price of higher-quality product is 10 GEL. We should have tenfold bigger production to satisfy even one market”, Janelidze noted.