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Turkey: Pistachio yield high but profits are low

This season has seen a great increase in pistachio yields, but due to the low prices, growers are disappointed.

Pistachio Research Institute Director Nevzat Aslan, made a statement to an Anadolu Agency correspondent in which he contributed the high yields to abundant rainfall.

Aslan explains that cold weather and drought last year caused a serious drop in production, but thanks to the trees being rested and heavy rainfall, this year is productive.

Aslan, “This year is different, in six pistachio producing districts the officials from the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock have established a commission for the orchards. Studies are being conducted in these orchards. With the data taken from other districts, a yield prediction was made. As the result of a meeting two weeks ago, 144,000 tons of yield is expected.”

Turkey provides 15-20% of world pistachio demand, Aslan states “America and Iran provide between 80-85% of world production. Turkey is in third place. But our competition with them is different. The varieties and shapes are different. Theirs are large and round, ours are small, a little less crunchy and the flavour is very strong.”

“Market problems have affected prices”

Şanliurfa Chamber of Agricultural Engineers Branch President Ali Riza Ozturkmen is also delighted with the high yields but expresses that producers are disappointed that prices are lower than last year.

The turmoil in the Middle East is affecting prices, Ozturkmen said:

“Our country has produced almost half of the nuts for this year. We think around 80,000 tons have been produced. Our farmers really have had a good yield. Prices aren’t as high as last year but yields are higher so producers will earn. At the moment fresh pistachios sell for around €3, dry for €5. Last year fresh pistachios sold for roughly €6 and dry for €9. The biggest problem being experienced in nuts is that we used to export them to countries such as Syria, Jordan and Egypt. Due to turmoil in these countries, the nuts are now placed on the domestic markets and this is causing prices to fall.”

Growers are pleased with the high yields, but their happiness is bittersweet. Despite the high quality and abundance of the produce, the prices are very low; one grower, Haci Yildirim states that he sold pistachios for €2.30, when he was expecting to get at least €3.5-4.45. In this way growers are both pleased with the produce but frustrated at the prices.


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