Announcements

Job offersmore »






Specialsmore »

Top 5 - yesterday

Top 5 - last week

Top 5 - last month

Exchange ratesmore »




A+ | A-
Turkish Horticulture: Production and trade

Turkey is the largest producer and exporter of agriculture products in the Near East and North African region. Exports of agro- industrial commodities were valued at $ 6,5 billion in 2008. As a result of the adoption of Economic Stabilization Measures in 1980, Turkey's GNP growth rates and exports reached high levels. While total exports were US $ 2.9 billion in 1980, this figure exceeded US $ 132 billion in 2008. Although two thirds of the total exports were agricultural products before the year 1980, in 2008 the share of agricultural and food products were 7,9 % and the share of industrial products were 94,8 % (including agro-industry).

Turkey has a vast agricultural resource base with significant potential to expand output, particularly through increased crop yields. In the past, the government has intervened in the agricultural sector through price supports, input subsidies, import protection, export subsidies and tax reductions. To increase food self-sufficiency and rural development, to stabilize farmers’ incomes, to provide adequate nutrition and affordable food and to promote exports have been adopted among government objectives.



Regional Agricultural Output Pattern of Turkey

Regions

Principal Products

Central-North

Cereals, rice, vegetables, pulses, fruits

Aegean

Olives, grapes, cotton, tobacco, pulses, vegetables, tubers

Marmara

Sunflower, rice, roots, sugar beets

Mediterranean

Cotton, cereals, citrus, rice, vegetables, pulses

North-East

Fodder, wheat, tubers, pulses, livestock

South-East

Fodder, cereals, tubers, vegetables, pulses, grapes, livestock, pistachio, fruits

Black Sea

Hazelnuts, tea, rice, tobacco

Central-East

Fodder, cereals, fruits, tobacco, sugar beets

Central-South

Cereals, sugar beets, grapes, pulses, vegetables, tubers, livestock




Vegetal Products    

Vegetal production is the leading sub-sector of Turkish agriculture and it is mainly made up of fresh fruits and vegetables, cereals, pulses, industrial plants, and fodder crops.

In the vegetal production, the fresh fruits and vegetables constitute the backbone of the sector due to the availability of diverse ecological conditions of Turkey enabling to grow all temperate, most subtropical and some tropical products. The remarkable thing with the Turkish fresh fruits and vegetables industry is not only the great diversification in the number of fruits and vegetables grown but also the astonishing quantity of the total produce, approximately 12 million tons of fruits and 24 million tons of vegetables. The fresh fruits grown in Turkey mainly consist of grape-like fruits, pome fruits, stone fruits and citrus fruits according to the order of priority. Grape-like fruits led the list with a share of 29%. Fruit bearing vegetables constitute 45% of the total vegetable production. Among these vegetables, tomatoes take the first place with an output of nearly 11 million tons and potatoes, onions, pepper and cucumbers follow this juicy vegetable.


Edible Nuts and Dried Fruits
   
Turkish edible nuts and dried fruits production is considerably high and dominates the world markets in this respect.  Among edible nuts and dried fruits, hazelnut, pistachios, raisins, dried apricots and dried figs are of significant importance for Turkish agricultural export. Due to this importance, they are called traditional agricultural export items of Turkey.

Historical documents reveal that hazelnut have been grown along the Black Sea Coast in northern Turkey since 300 BC with its prominent position among hazelnut producing countries, Turkey leads the field.

Fig cultivation is believed to belong to the Mediterranean basin, especially to Anatolia. Accordingly, local fig species (Ficus carica) derived its botanical name from the historical district, Caira, in the western part of Turkey. Producing 50-55% of the world’s total dried fig production, Turkey also has a share of 55% in the total world exports of dried figs.

There are 1200 different types of grapes in Turkey and among these varieties, seedless "Yuvarlak and Sultani" are the main varieties used for raisin. Their production is considerably high and together with raisins, dried apricots also dominate the world markets.

Trends in Horticultural Production (1000 Tons)


Product

2006

2007

2008

Tree Nuts

Hazelnuts

661

530

801

Walnuts

130

173

171

Pistachios

110

73

120

Almonds

43

51

52

Fruits

Apples

2002

2458

2504

Grapes

2060

1913

1971

Oranges

1536

1427

1427

Apricots

460

558

716

Lemons

710

652

672

Peaches

507

486

503

Pears

318

356

355

Cherries

310

398

338

Soft Citrus

310

302

301

Strawberries

211

250

261

Plums

214

241

249

Figs

290

210

205

Grapefruits

180

163

168

Pomegranates

91

107

128

Quinces

106

95

95

Vegetables

Tomatoes

9855

9945

10985

Potatoes

4366

4228

4197

Onions

1966

2045

2175

Pepper

1842

1759

1796

Cucumbers

1665

1528

1524

Carrots

395

641

592

Beans (green)

564

520

563

Source: Turkish Statistical Institute

 
Nowadays consumers are becoming increasingly interested in environmentally sound products, as a result of continuously expanding awareness. Thus, the desire for healthy life has oriented consumers toward healthy food and organic agricultural products. The movement towards healthy food has started in 1960’s in developed countries, spread all over the world. Parallel with world developments, organic agricultural activities began in Turkey in 1985 based on demand of importing countries. Due to its rich plant variety Turkey is one of the countries best suited for organic cultivation. Today, nearly 250 kinds of agricultural products were organically produced in Turkey and shipped abroad pioneering with dried fruits and nuts, olive and olive oil, pulses and spices. Industrial products such as cotton, textiles and essential oils have also be started to be produced organically.

 As far as Turkey's foreign trade partners are concerned, it is seen that OECD countries take the biggest share. Among these, EU countries and especially Germany, constitute the major destinations where Turkish export products are shipped. In 2007 more than 50 % of products of Turkish origin exported to the EU. Apart from EU countries, Member States of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) have also important potential for products originating from Turkey; which took a share of 16 % in 2007. USA has also important share (3,9%) in Turkey's exports.

In summary, in the Turkish agricultural and food industry, production is realized in conformity with all rules of hygiene in order to produce high-quality and sanitary products.  In this regard, many firms in Turkey have started to apply internationally recognized quality and food safety  systems like ISO 9000, ISO 22000, HACCP, BRC, IFS, SQF or GLOBALGAP. This enables the Turkish food industry to export to all countries in the world. In addition, the similarity of consumers’ preferences with Moslem countries and the geographic and cultural proximity to many European markets allow Turkish food exporters to penetrate international markets easily. 

However, the Turkish agriculture and food industry export potential is not limited with these products. There are many other products that are worth experiencing and these are recommended to all consumers in the world.


Contact:      
Gulay Babadogan
Expert
Agriculture Dept.
Export Promotion Centre of Turkey - IGEME
Tel:+90-312-4172223/ 337
Fax:+90-312-4257176
Gulay Babadogan
e-mail: gulayb@igeme.gov.tr






Publication date: 12/2/2009


 


Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here


 

Other news in this sector: