Most recently, Georgia announced it would rely on the cultivation of olive, and already today an economic giant like China become interested in its products. China intends to annually increase import of olive oil and other natural products from Georgia. The basis for this is, in particular, the agreement executed in December 2018 at the forum on the development of trade and economic relations of Georgia with the International Chamber of Commerce of China in Jiangxi Province.
“The doors of 1.5 billion Chinese market are opening for Georgian natural products. Chinese consumers have a growing interest in products made in Georgia, respectively, the export potential of Georgia should be used to the maximum”, – said the head of the Partner Fund David Saganelidze.
In business, this event has already been called a landmark, because for Georgia the cultivation of olives is a promising, dynamically developing, but still new direction. Private investors are already investing money in it, but the potential for capital investment is still very high. And execution of this agreement demonstrates confidence in Georgia and the prospect of the emergence of the olive “Silk Road”.
The reason for this was not only the political and economic cooperation between two countries. An important factor is the quality of the olives from Georgia.
Why do olives are the win-win bet for Georgia?
The climate for olives is the most important thing. And Georgia is one of few countries where the climate is ideal for their cultivation.
In the east of the country it is subtropical climate, and in the west – Mediterranean.
There is no sharp separation between climatic zones. From the north, Georgia is protected from the cold winds by the mountains of the Caucasus. The average January temperature is +5°C, in July the air heats up to the comfortable +24°C. There is good precipitation, from 1000 to 2500 mm per year that makes Georgia even more favorable for yield growth than European countries (for example, in Greece precipitation is far less). Precipitation is a key factor in growing olives.
Compared to other subtropical crops, olive is less demanding to the soil. This tree tolerates a variety of conditions and significant salinization, but it grows poorly and develops in heavy, wet soils with nearby groundwater levels. The best for the olive can be considered to be loose sandy and loamy soils with good water and air permeability, containing sufficient amount of lime. In this context, the soil on the territory of Georgia, especially in its eastern part, is very favorable for olive trees growth.
Olive plantations in Georgia – For themselves and for the people
And one more important detail that as compared to many other factors speaks volumes about the fact that olives in Georgia are serious and for a long time. This country has always honored its traditions, especially gastronomic. And the Georgian olives have already begun to return to the daily use of local residents. Today, anyone can browse the tourist forums and read traveler reviews about Georgia.
Many people are surprised that local restaurants began to use olive oil for cooking, especially Georgian one. And there is nothing surprising, as cultivation of olives is no longer exotic here.
High quality with less expensive technologies, an ideal climate and the interest of consumer markets are the components of the success of the local olive. Georgia has only recently embarked on this course and for the time being cannot satisfy the needs of everyone. But given the interest of local authorities and the inflow of investments, it is obvious that breakthrough to other markets will not also take long.