Speaking on TV, Cut Flowers Association Chairman Ismail Yilmaz requested 4 measures to keep the sector alive in the country.
Ismail Yilmaz: “The cut flower and ornamental plant exports have declined by 30% in April and in total the exports for March-April went down by 40% in total. This left the growers in a very difficult situation. The demand both in export and domestic markets has declined and as a result, growers had to discard nearly 65% of their products as waste. Many growers have started to dismantle their flower greenhouses and explored the idea of switching to other products. The estimated loss of the industry is around 200 million USD.
The announced support programs, unfortunately, did not cover our industry and therefore did not offer growers any relief. If growers are not supported through this difficult time, they may not be able to continue production next season and Turkey’s floriculture production might face a steep decline in the near future.
In order to keep the growers afloat, the government needs to introduce a special low-interest loan through state banks so growers can purchase production items for next season. Additionally, many growers have outstanding loans to state banks which they need to be postponed for at least 1 year with any additional interest. The Ministry of Agriculture nearly doubled agricultural quarantine processing charges for exports which need to be revised and lowered. Finally, air freight costs nearly tripled in this period, making it impossible for the growers to export their products. The growers need additional support and discounts in air freight especially in Turkish Cargo flights.”