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Turkey: fifth in the world for greenhouse agriculture
Turkey holds an important place in the world for the production of fresh fruit and vegetables; having close to 714 thousand decares of greenhouse covered land, it takes fifth place in the world.
According to the data compiled by an Anadolu Agency reporter from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and the Antalya Food, Agriculture and Livestock Directorate, most of the world’s vegetables are cultivated in China, India and the United States; Turkey ranks fourth with nearly 30 million tons of produce. In this sphere, Iran, Egypt and Russia follow Turkey.
In the world, in the field of greenhouses, China takes first place with 2 million 700 thousand hectares, South Korea, Spain and Japan follow respectively and Turkey occupies fifth place.
In Turkey the area covered with greenhouses is close to the figure of 714 thousand decares, which amounts to 628 thousand 836 decares of land planted with vegetables, 71 thousand 638 decares with fruit, and 13 thousand 546 decares with ornamental plants. In other words, 88 percent of vegetables, 10 percent of fruit and 2 percent of ornamental plants are grown in greenhouses.
35 percent in Antalya
About 250 thousands decares of Turkey’s general greenhouse land is located in Antalya. This also shows that around 35 percent of Turkey’s greenhouse production takes place in Antalya.
Regions which come after Antalya in terms of land covered with greenhouses are Mersin, which has 160 thousand decares, Adana which has 95 thousand decares, Mugla 45 thousand decares, Samsun 22 thousand decares, Izmir 15 thousand decares, Aydin 14 thousand decares and 11 thousand decares in Hatay.
In Turkey, 83 percent of glass greenhouses, 52 percent of plastic greenhouses, 12 percent of high plastic tunnels and 8 percent of low plastic tunnels are located in Antalya.
While greenhouse agriculture is so significant in the districts of Aksu, Kepez, Kumluca, Serik, Manavgat, Alanya and Gazipaşa in Antalya, in Korkuteli and Elmali greenhouses are also situated in the highlands.
Antalya Food, Agriculture and Livestock Director Ahmet Dalli, said to an AA reporter that 80 percent of vegetables in the city, especially tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, aubergines and courgettes, are grown in the greenhouses and also added that bananas are produced in Gazipasa.
Dalli indicates that since the 1980s greenhouse agriculture has been increasing, especially in recent years in the highland regions of Elmali and Korkuteli, greenhouse agriculture has significantly increased.
The aim to cultivate subtropical fruit in greenhouses
Concerning the aim to cultivate subtropical fruit in greenhouses, in cooperation with Akdeniz University, Dalli gave the following information:
“Now, in the Mersin region the situation with fruit growing in greenhouses has greatly improved. We sent our staff to the region to meet with technical staff and experts in the field. In Antalya, can we produce tropical or subtropical fruits in the greenhouses? We need to work on this. God willing, we will attempt to cultivate subtropical fruits in the greenhouses. If we are successful BATEM will begin to produce certificated saplings, and subtropical fruit will be added to our national species list. Thus we will provide our farmers with an alternative product, because now our farmers are demanding new alternatives.”
An increase of 60 percent in the last 10 years
Dalli states that, in the last 10 years especially, a serious increase has taken place in greenhouse agriculture, while in 2002 in the region the area of greenhouse agriculture covered around 150 thousand decares, today this figure has reached 250 thousand decares.
Dalli says that there are about 75 companies in the field of greenhouse agriculture in Antalya, and these companies occupy about 3 decares per company out of the total average area.
Dalli explains that the fundamental problem with greenhouses is their construction and points out that 85 percent of the greenhouses in the cities are in need of modernisation.
In the modern greenhouses, the temperature, moisture level, and the required water and fertiliser doses of the plants are completely determined by computers, even soilless production is possible, Dalli states, “85 percent of the greenhouses in our cities are basic, because modern greenhouses cost so much. To be lucrative they need to be built by a big company. They should be set up on at least 30-35 decares to be economically viable. Our farmers cannot afford to do this.”
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