Bananas are mostly grown in Antalya and Mersin in Turkey but Hatay, a city located on the southern border, is also taking steps to start production.
Banana production began to attract more and more growers in the city and with the help of government support programs and funds, banana production areas have increased to 67 hectares. As a result banana became an important source of revenue for some districts in the city. The expectation is that banana production areas will continue to increase rapidly over the coming years.
Currently 4,000 tons of bananas are grown in the city annually and the climate conditions are said to be compatible for banana production. Current banana production volumes have already moved Hatay to the 3rd spot in the country and most of the bananas grown in Hatay are sold to the local market.
Government incentives also played a very important role in this development as more growers were able to take advantage of government funds to set up their greenhouses. The quality and size of bananas are well above-average and production costs are relatively low once the greenhouses are set. Furthermore risks related to climate conditions are also minimized through greenhouse production.
Banana grower Adil Yildiz: “I was a civil engineer but bought some land and set up my own greenhouse in Hatay to grow bananas. Banana is a very attractive product because it is very easy to find buyers for this product in the local market. That’s why I recommend other growers to explore banana production. Other growers have noted our success and slowly started to set up greenhouses for banana production as well. We have set up these greenhouses with government support and we will increase our production in the upcoming years.”
Another important news about banana production in Turkey came from Sandikli town of Afyon, a city located in western Turkey. Recent trials have started in Afyon by a grower to start growing bananas in a greenhouse.
Kozanlar Tarim is a grower company which specializes in tomato production however currently attempting to grow bananas in some parts of their greenhouses. Current plans are to monitor and improve the process for 1 year and then scale it up after that period. So far growers were able to receive products 14 months after planting and each seedling has roughly provided 50 kilograms of bananas.
Kozanlar Tarim Agricultural Engineer Melike Tac: “So far we are quite satisfied with the results and we are also trying to find the best ways to optimize the production both in terms of quality and productivity per seedling whilst also trying to keep the maturation period as short as possible. Up to now, we have used the same climate conditions in the greenhouse as we used for tomatoes and bananas reacted positively to these conditions. Summertime here is also quite hot which we found out is beneficial for bananas. If the results continue the same way after another year, we may actually switch completely from tomato to banana.”