Turkey Seed Producers Association Chairman Savas Akcan: “Last year, our country exported 260.6 million USD worth of seeds, seedlings, and ornamental plants, whereas the imports were worth 240.9 million USD. Thus. for the first time, the exports from Turkey exceeded imports. This is an important turning point for our industry.
"The biggest buyers for ornamental plants in the country are local municipalities. Additionally, due to the loss of value of Turkish currency against USD and Euro, the prices of imported products have increased, which in turn results in a higher demand for cheaper domestic products.
"In seeds, our country has imported 152 million USD worth of products, whereas our exports were worth 136 million USD.
"The seedling industry has been improving rapidly in the last 3 years, thanks to the state incentive and funding programs, and this trend continued this year as well. Turkey has sold 37.4 million USD worth of seedlings to countries such as Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, whereas our seedling imports amounted only to 1 million USD. On the other hand, ornamental plant imports were 60.9 million USD, whereas exports were 71.2 million USD.
"We have introduced certification requirements for the commercial trade of seeds, which helped the industry greatly in terms of bringing accountability to growers and traceability throughout the industry.
"We will also see the benefits of the state incentive programs for greenhouse production soon, and greenhouse production can contribute significantly to our export figures. Greenhouse production gives our growers the opportunity to have year-round production, and Russia and Gulf countries are significant export destinations for our greenhouse products. Greenhouse production will also keep the prices in the domestic market in check during the high season.”