Potato harvesting continues at full speed in Kayseri which is becoming a more important area for potato production in the country. Potato production areas in Nigde and Nevsehir, two main potato production areas in the country, have been diminishing due to potato wart and Kayseri has been picking up the slack and replacing the lost production in these two other cities.
Kayseri is especially important in growing seed potatoes and comes 3rd after Konya and Sivas in seed potato growing. Projections for 2018 indicate that there will be 30,000 tons of seed potatoes grown in the city in a production area of 747 hectares.
Potato harvest is also under way in Sivas where the harvest period will soon come to an end. The harvest period will last 2 weeks in total and the productivity has been so far below expectations which has disappointed the growers. The price at the grower is around 0.25 USD per kg currently.
Sivas Potato Growers: “So far we have harvested potatoes from 50 hectares and we have received around 3 tons per 1,000 square meters. Normally this figure should be somewhere between 6 – 7 tons per 1,000 square meters. Because of low productivity, we are barely covering labor costs. Currently we are just hoping to break even for this season”
Another important potato production city in Turkey is Nigde, where potatoes are sold at 0.25 USD per kg at the grower. Even though the production areas showed a slight decline in size this year, the increasing productivity has delighted the growers. Currently growers expect 800,000 tons of potatoes from a production area of 20,000 hectares.
In addition to productivity, the sale price is also very satisfactory for growers. The price has almost doubled compared to previous year and the growers were able to make up for their increased production costs.
Nigde City Agricultural Official Asim Bas: “Nigde is the biggest potato growing in the country and potato production is the lifeblood of the local economy. So far, the reports we receive from the production fields were promising and we hope it will continue this way. Growers were able to earn money for their efforts which brings more economic activity and prosperity to the city.
We are also working with our growers to set up an association of potato growers in the city. We may even organize growers in Nigde and Nevsehir and have them act together uniformly under one body. These two cities are responsible for almost 50 % of the potato production in Turkey. The association will work to lower production costs and help growers to improve their production whilst also assisting growers in price negotiations. “
Grower Mevlut Cemil Cetinkaya: “This year productivity has been good despite the high production costs but the price level is very good for us at 0.25 USD. So far the demand was also quite high so we are very happy so far with how the season has turned out.”
On the other hand Potato Growers Cooperative Board Member Mehmet Bicen announced that they will start selling potatoes as a cooperative at their sale points and that they have set the price at 0.70 USD per kg.