- The hazelnut is the main source of income for more than 50,000 small farmers in the region.
- Intensive insect infestation from 2016 to 2018 has severely affected the quality, harvest and price of hazelnuts, prompting the government to spray systemic insecticides on a large scale, which pollute the environment.
- Together with local partners, the Pakka Foundation is working to improve the resilience of small farmers, especially women, through a broad-based project.
Partner and donors
Goals & Values
Hazelnut production has a long tradition in Georgia because the agro-climatic conditions of the Black Sea region are ideal for it. The economic importance of the sector has grown continuously since the 1990s. Today, the marketing of hazelnuts is the main source of income for more than 50,000 small farmers, while around 107,000 households are employed in the sector. Despite the good agronomic conditions, the economic potential of
Hazelnuts in Georgia not yet exhausted. For example, productivity is rather low compared to other producing countries and the quality of the kernels can still be improved in some places. Both are key factors to improve marketing on the international and local market. Also, the resilience of households should be improved, as changes in production or marketing can have a strong impact on income due to their great importance for the local economy. This has been confirmed over the past five years: a spring frost in Turkey in 2014 has increased demand and thus prices in Georgia, while intensive insect infestation in 2016 and 2017 will have a major impact on the quality, harvest and prices of hazelnuts.
In cooperation with the local processor Anka Fairtrade Ltd. and the Georgian NGO for organic farming “Elkana”, the Pakka Foundation has been involved in building a sustainable organic & fairtrade value chain for hazelnuts since 2013. The project is made possible by the Pakka Foundation’s own resources and the financial support of HEKS/DANIDA and ADA.
By 2021 around 1600 farming families in the regions of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, Guria and Imereti should be able to benefit from the promotion of a sustainable value chain. The table below gives an overview of the activities and areas of activity of the Pakka Foundation.