Growtech, a trade fair in Antalya for domestic and foreign growers organized a panel to discuss the current state and developments in Turkish agriculture. The panel garnered huge interest from the press and was attended by 35 agriculture journalists from 21 different countries.
During the panel, the development of agriculture in Antalya and Turkey was outlined and foreign journalists were able to receive in-depth information from the panel members.
Speaking at the panel, Antalya Chamber of Commerce Board Member Harun Ozturk underlined the importance of agricultural production for the economy of Antalya. Harun Ozturk: “In Antalya, we have fresh fruit and vegetable production, cut flower production both in open field and in greenhouses. Currently, Turkey has 77,200 hectares of greenhouses and 37% of these greenhouses are located within the borders of Antalya. 81.4% of all the glass greenhouses in Turkey and 52.5 % of all plastic greenhouses in Turkey are all located in Antalya as well. According to 2018 official figures, 47 % of all Turkey’s fresh fruit and vegetable production takes place in Antalya. Antalya leads the country in greenhouse tomato production with growing almost 61% of the whole country’s production within its border. The city also leads Turkey in green pepper, eggplant and cucumber production. Agricultural production is the lifeblood of the city together with tourism and commerce.”
Another Antalya Chamber of Commerce Board Member Cuneyt Dogan noted: “Turkish growers are rapidly improving in terms of variety and quality of production. We have gained a good position in export markets. There was a significant jump in greenhouse banana production and as a result, Turkish banana imports have declined rapidly. Now our growers are experimenting with alternative products as well such as avocado and dragonfruit. These niche products also represent a significant opportunity for our growers. As our growers keep expanding their production assortment, our position in export markets will keep getting stronger. Trade fairs such as this one not only bring our growers together but it gives them an opportunity to introduce their products to the foreign buyers and increase their export volumes.”
Journalists attending the panel were able to ask questions to panel members about food safety in Turkish agricultural production, irrigation systems and other production methods, Turkish growers’ strategies in the face of increasing production costs, main export countries for Turkish fresh produce and the potential implications of the tensions between China and United States for Turkish growers.
Panel members assured journalists about the high-standards and the monitoring system the Turkish Ministry of Agriculture has for chemicals and noted that Turkish growers are not using any of the chemicals or substances banned in the European Union.
Another question addressed by the panel members was the top export destinations for Turkish products which change depending on the variety of the product but due to the beneficial geographical position of Turkey with close proximity to the Middle East, Europe, and Russia, these regions remain the top destinations for Turkish goods.
The last question about the tensions between China and the United States and its implications were answered by West Mediterranean Exporters Association Chairman Hakki Bahar who noted that China is an important export destination for Turkish sweet cherry and that there might be an increase in demand with the possible of Chinese orders from United State to Turkey. However, he also added that it might be more beneficial for growers to focus on improving quality and consequently price points instead of volume in order to have more profitable business.
Source: 34 Volt