Georgia has a wide range of microclimates suitable for the cultivation of high-value agricultural products, such as hazelnuts, that have ready markets in numerous export markets. As Georgia is the 6th largest producer of in-shell hazelnuts globally, the 5th largest exporter of in-shell hazelnuts and the 3rd largest exporter of shelled hazelnuts, EPI can work with hazelnut producers and processors to leverage these market opportunities. By introducing a strategy that includes productivity increases, product quality improvements, food safety assurances and marketing activities, EPI can establish a model of highly- productive hazelnut production and processing that satisfies the food safety requirements of high-value export markets. By doing so, EPI will directly contribute to industry growth, increased farm revenues, higher export sales and values and new job creation.
The objective of this consultancy is to design and disseminate a strategy that will allow hazelnut producers to meet the competitive demands of the overseas market whereby hazelnut producers will target additional markets for export. To accomplish this objective, the consultant conducted extensive quantitative and qualitative research to identify solutions to directly address the gaps in the value chain outlined within the USAID EPI Hazelnut Value Chain Assessment that are culturally and economically relevant to hazelnut market value chain actors in Georgia.