Abkhazia Forecasts Lower Citrus Harvest for 2023

Сitrus is one of the priority agricultural sectors of the Republic of Abkhazia.

Сitrus is one of the priority agricultural sectors of the Republic of Abkhazia.

SUKHUM / AQW'A —  In 2022, Abkhazia exported over 39,000 tons of citrus fruits. The expected citrus yield for 2023 is projected to be around 30,000 tons, stated Tevaz Achba, the Chief Agronomist of the Agronomy Department at the Ministry of Agriculture of Abkhazia.

"This year, as in previous ones, the Ministry of Agriculture has made a forecast for the expected citrus yield. The current forecast is significantly lower than last year when we anticipated a harvest of more than 50,000 tons," he emphasized.

According to the Abkhazian State Customs Committee, over 39,000 tons of citrus fruits were exported in 2022. "A portion of the citrus remains in the republic, and some of the produce does not meet standard requirements. The taste quality of these citrus fruits remains consistent, but they aren't entirely suitable for sale. If we had processing plants producing juices and jams, this non-standard produce would be directed there, much like what was done during the Soviet era. Hence, there's a need to develop the processing of agricultural produce," Achba observed.

There are also natural losses during harvest, where a part of the produce sustains mechanical damages, he added. Tevaz Achba also highlighted that the decline in this year's citrus yield is not related to diseases of the plantations.

"On average, the expected yield ranges from 30,000 to 40,000 tons. There were years when we harvested even less due to unfavorable conditions. In the current situation, this is a standard amount," Achba said.

He also mentioned that there have been record figures in the past, with Abkhazia harvesting up to 50,000 tons of citrus fruits.




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