The gross harvest of wild strawberry in Ukraine this year will increase from 55 thousand tons to 63 thousand tons, that is, almost 15%. This was discussed on the air of AgroFM with reference to Alexander Khorev, fruit and vegetable expert and FAO analyst.

However, the specialist points out that not all harvest got to the market. Because of the rise in the price of labor, part of the low-quality crop remained right in the fields.

This year, the raspberry harvest is also more estimated — at 36,000 tons compared to last year’s 34,000 tons. But more is not always better. To keep prices, producers have to look for new sales channels.

Among the possible channels, Khorev calls exports, processing, and sales to the domestic market. However, each channel requires some effort from the manufacturer, who is not always ready to provide the necessary products in the right amount.

It would also be advisable to expand the assortment, so farmers are advised to grow berries in both closed and open ground, including both traditional and remontant varieties. This will significantly expand the sales season.

The analyst says that last year, due to the low supply of strawberries, the sales of berries declined significantly both for export and processing. Producers were pleased with the prices, and this did not prompt them to look for alternative distribution channels. Today the situation looks different: farmers understand that there are all prospects for obtaining large quantities of berries, and such channels as processing and export for them are simply necessary.

At the same time, Khorev singles out a positive trend: every year more and more berries, especially strawberries, can be sold freshly through supermarkets. Manufacturers are selecting ever more successful varieties for the fresh market, using the right packaging and cooling technology.

Regarding prices, FAO expects that if the export and sales rates for processing decline, producers will not be able to get even 25 UAH/kg ($ 0.9/kg) for strawberries. Last season, the average price was fixed at 27 UAH/kg ($ 1/kg).

For raspberries last year they received an average of 30 UAH/kg ($ 1.1 / kg). This year, 10% of the price will be lost.