Prof. Dr. Aysun Bay Karabulut, Rector of Turgut Ozal University in Malatya, known for its apricots, announced that a Research and Development Center specialized in this fruit will soon be launched. The center will operate in the university particularly focusing on the research and project development about apricots.
Professor Karabulut stated that academics have made a decision and that now they are preparing to launch the center.
"I defend the need for hands-on experience for our students in the field, in the garden, in the factory, in the laboratory and in the village. Meanwhile, they should be contributing to science of production, developing new techniques and enhancing employment opportunities. The apricot is one of Turkey's most strategic products and it brings in an export revenue of 400 to 500 million USD (352 to 440 million Euro) on average. Our aim is to keep the fruit's prestige in the area and try to enable its reach to a wider market." said Professor Karabulut.
"Turkey ranks as the number one producer of apricots in the world since 1972. However, there are major problems in developing high quality products from apricots. Turkey exports dried apricots in packages of 12,5 kilograms, but these are divided in smaller packages or processed to become new products abroad and exported again. Unfortunately, Turkey cannot make a profit from this model. It is important to promote apricots' great health benefits to the wider public. Only 10 to 15% of the production is consumed in Turkey and the rest is exported. Rather than exporting dried apricots as a raw material, we need to develop new export products based on apricots and sell them with better profits. Creating a variety of new products would contribute to the future of apricot cultivation in Turkey." Professor Karabulut concluded.
Source: Malatya Haber