Turkish greenhouse grower uses hot springs to grow tomatoes

Agrobay, a company based in the Aegean province of İzmir, is Turkey’s largest tomato exporter. It currently produces 15,000 tons of tomatoes in greenhouses that utilise the thermal waters dotted across western Turkey. Arzu Şentürk hopes to further exploit the subterranean geothermal waters in order to become the world’s leading exporter.

In the Dikili-Bergama region there are hundreds of geothermal fields where underground waters can reach temperatures of up to 287 C, according to Stanford University in the US. In addition to the geothermal energy, this area also has some 300 days of sunshine a year.

Starting with 15 acres of land in 2001, at a time when there were no geothermal greenhouses in Turkey, Agrobay has reached 173 acres today. Arzu Şentürk aimes to increase the total acreage to 247 acres, to boost production and exports.

Among the modern techniques used on the farm, the hurriyetdailynews article also mentions a closed irrigation system that allows Agrobay to save on fertilizer, energy and water. The used water is collected and returned to underground geothermal reserves, cutting costs and saving the environment.

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