Turkish Association of Seed Growers (TURKTOB) announced that Turkey exported 260,6 million USD (231,3 million Euro) worth of seeds, saplings and ornamental plants last year. In the same time period, the country imported 240,9 million USD (213,1 million Euro) worth of these products. This is the first time that the exports of these three products exceeded the imports.
Savas Akcan, head of the association shared his views on the sectors of seeds, saplings and ornamental plants. He said that mostly local governments purchase ornamental plants and that due to the currency crisis they opted for local products.
Akcan announced that last year Turkey imported 152 million USD (134,9 million Euro) worth of seeds and exported 136 million USD (120,7 million Euro) worth of seeds.
Akcan emphasized that government subsidies accelerated the development of the samplings sector over the last three years. Akcan said: "Thanks to this acceleration, we exported 37,4 million USD (33,2 million Euro) worth of fruit saplings to Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. On the other hand, we only imported 1 million USD (0,89 million Euro) worth of fruits saplings."
Last year, the exports of ornamental plants exceeded the imports. Exports totaled 71,2 million USD (63,2 million Euro), while imports totaled 60,9 million USD (54 million Euro).
"Turkey closed the gap between imports and exports. We exported 260,6 million USD (231,3 million Euro) worth of seeds, saplings and ornamental plants last year and imported 240,9 million USD (213,1 million Euro) worth of these products. For the future of these sectors in Turkey, this is an important milestone." said Akcan.
"Certificate is the ID of seeds"
Emphasizing that certificate is required for commercial seeds in Turkey, Akcan said: "Certificate is the ID of seeds. Some people try to frame the issue as if our seeds are given away to foreign seed growers. This is a difficult task to manage. The ones who do not wish to get certificates try to manipulate other people's thoughts. However, it is almost impossible to differentiate between seeds without the certificate indicating which one is for greenhouse and which one is dark red.
"Greenhouse production might increase exports"
Stressing on the importance of government subsidies for greenhouses, Akcan said: "In fact the support came too late. We need to increase the variety in our production given that the climate is suitable. Greenhouse production allows us to produce for 12 months and could increase our exports. Russia and Gulf countries are the main markets for Turkey. Thanks to greenhouse production Turkey can also prevent the prices to skyrocket."