New Alliance Brings Big Opportunity to Georgian Hazelnut Farmers
USAID is teaming up with the global candy company Ferrero to help sweeten the deal for Georgian hazelnut farmers.
The new alliance with the makers of Nutella and Ferrero Rocher chocolates will help the farmers learn new farming practices to boost their yields and improve their incomes. The project will leverage $1.5 million of Ferrero’s resources to implement a training program for farmers at Ferrero’s 4,000 hectare plantation in western Georgia.
By increasing the quality and quantity of the hazelnut harvest, the trainings will help growers open up new markets, increase exports, and help farmers get a better price for Georgian nuts. The training will also improve the supply for Ferrero, which de-pends on a steady stream of high-quality nuts to add the crunch to its candies.
Despite being the 6th largest producer of hazelnuts worldwide, Georgia’s hazelnut sector has relatively low rates of productivity.
Gocha Meskhi, a farmer from Samegrelo, Georgia, has grown hazelnuts for years, but his orchards produced yields well below international averages. This year, he attended trainings given by agronomists from Ferrero that will help him improve productivity at every stage of his operation, from cultivation to harvest.
“It is extremely helpful to learn how Ferrero manages its or-chards,” Meskhi said. “The technology of seedling production introduced at the training was particularly interesting. It was a novelty for me and very useful to practice.”
Approximately 800 farmers have already received training, and 2,000 farmers total will be trained through the program. The project will also work with individuals and companies involved in the hazelnut sector to introduce simple quality standards, a market information system, and promote development of a farmer association to represent the interests of the sector.
Ferrero and USAID, working through its Economic Prosperity Initiative, see the enormous potential for the hazelnut sector in Georgia. The new partnership will further USAID’s goal to spur economic growth that increases incomes and creates new em-ployment opportunities for Georgians.
- About USAID/Georgia
- Democratic checks and balances and accountable government enhanced
- Inclusive and sustainable economic growth
- Increasingly stable, integrated, and healthy society
- Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment
- Billion Dollar Pledge
- Elections Monitoring
- Programs by region
- News Room
- Working with USAID