Women Entrepreneur of Hazelnuts

Author: Sopho Zedelashvili (Tserediani)

Edition: Agriculture
Maka buys nuts from local farmers. She selects, sorts, and exports them to Europe and Russia.
"People often tell me: you got those for a certain price because you’re a woman. That’s not the case – men are not better at this job than me, "says Khurtsilava.
"After we buy the nuts, we send them to be dried, then sorted, then cracked open" - explains Mr. Belkania, the shop operator.
Women sort broken nuts by hand. Assorted nuts are put in bags and prepared for shipment.
Nutshells are used as fuel for the drying machine. Local people also use nutshells as fuel to heat their homes in the winter.
Small factories like Super Nuts Ltd. typically have equipment made by local craftsmen instead of having it imported.
In Zugdidi and the surrounding villages, there are now a few hundred nut processing factory of varying sizes operating.
Vazha Currently has 2.5 hectares of land, with 1300 trees that yield 3-4 tons of nuts annually.
"Many people think that the nut cultivation is easy, but it's not. Tending the garden, using pesticides and fertilizers, yearly upkeep... Also a lot depends on the weather. Sometimes I need to hire 10-15 people daily to cope with all the work during harvest season."
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