Impact Stories

Cracking Walnuts the Green Way

The hallmark of Georgian cuisine lies in the humble walnut. Their rich, woody flavour can be found in soups and salads, to pastes and desserts.  

“Walnuts are not just a type of food, they are part of our culture and history,” explains Otar Abuladze, Director of Operations at Ltd. New Gardens. Walnuts are the oldest tree food known to man and have been present in the Caucasus region for millennia.  

Located in the Marneuli district, New Gardens expanded its agricultural business to include walnut orchards with a loan from BasisBank . In the spring of 2018, the company planted 6000 seedlings of the Chandlers variety. However, the hot summers have been hampering the growth of the saplings which can take 5 years to start producing a harvestable quantity of nuts.  


Additionally, walnut orchards require consistent drip irrigation methods, specific soil conditions and lots of direct sunlight to grow. According to these limitations, it should be a huge challenge for new farming outfits to become profitable in a short period of time farming walnut trees as a primary crop.  

However, “New Gardens” have incorporated many new initiatives with advice from GGF Technical Assistance’s Green Advisory Program. This includes measures such as pest control, disease prevention, and various training on maximizing harvests. The objective of this is to develop modern standards for sustainable agricultural practices that are resource efficient while producing high yields. 

“A thorough examination of soils and leaves was conducted over the course of a year with a partnering laboratory in Spain. Thanks to the support received from Green Advisory Program we now have access to locally inaccessible technology which customizes a solution, taking into account our land and resources, to grow the best walnuts in our region,” exclaims Mr. Abuladze.  

It's agri-businesses like New Gardens which the GGF Green Advisory Program seeks out to lend technical assistance for the promotion of sustainable practices where reducing resource consumption and increasing productivity are the central focus. 

“I look forward to growing my walnut orchards with the new methods we have now employed. And although it will take some time, I believe they will be worth the effort,” states Otar.