Since 2018, Pakka has been supporting sustainable almond projects of the local NCC (Nut Cultivation Company) in Kakheti, East Georgia, and thus supports the development of one of the largest organic almond plantations in the country. Farmers will benefit from local employment and valuable know-how transfer in organic farming.
The cultivation of organic almonds is still in its infancy in Georgia, although the growing conditions are well suited, especially in Kakheti. The dry climate of Kakheti (with 700 mm of precipitation per year) is perfectly compensated by the river “Lori”, making it an ideal place for the cultivation of almonds. The climate favors the drying of the almond crop without fungal attack.
Organic farming is a difficult task that requires many adaptations. Some of the methods include mechanical Removal of weeds between trees and cover crops to reduce weeds between rows. Currently, we are looking for a way to install solar-powered irrigation pumps to ensure the sustainability of production and to be able to guarantee the lack of electricity in the production area.
NCC has developed a very professional approach to the cultivation of organic almonds and has started in 2018 with a first test planting of 20ha and 3 almond varieties. After a 5-year pilot phase, the goal is to promote and expand almond cultivation up to 300ha. To achieve this, own resources are needed as well as an “outgrowers project” in partnership with local farmers. This will give Georgian agriculture and the region of Kakheti the opportunity to develop “almonds” as a new product.
In addition to almonds, the potential for hazelnut production is also being evaluated. Through this synergy, Pakka Georgia would benefit from a stable and large volume of high quality hazelnuts.