Ordu, a Turkish city in the Black Sea area mostly known for its hazelnut production recently acquired a new reputation with an increased production of strawberries. Kemal Yilmaz, Ordu Provincial Agriculture and Forest Manager said that strawberry production in town increased by 200 tons compared to last year and and reached an overall production of 900 tons.
Yilmaz said that the strawberry harvest started in April and ended in December. Pointing out to the strawberry production in 2013 which was only 96 tons, Yilmaz said they increased the productivity over the years thanks to an ongoing project.
Yilmaz stated that they have been successful in spreading the cultivation of strawberries in all the districts and that with incentives the production reached 700 tons. Yilmaz said: "The production has been increasing this year as well. Our strawberry production is increased by 200 tons compared to last year and reached 900 tons. We expect to reach one thousand tons next year."
Strawberries are grown in an area of 36,1 hectares.
According to Yilmaz, farmers who are traditionally in the business of hazelnuts enjoy growing strawberries and see this as an alternative resource:
"We observe that a lot of hazelnuts producer are interested in strawberries. Since there is a high demand, strawberries go to the buyer straight from the field. This is a positive development on the side of producers. We managed to increase strawberry production in Ordu where the production of hazelnuts, kiwi and honey have been quite widespread. We are pleased to see that strawberry production increased in Ordu, known as the land of hazelnuts."
"Producer can earn a living for 10 months"
Arslan Soydan from the Union of Turkish Chambers of Agriculture (TZOB) said that farmers make an extra revenue with strawberry production and producers are pleased this season as well. Pointing to the long harvest time, that lasts from April-May to November -December, Soydan said: "This is is a great advantage for strawberry producers. Farmers can earn their living for about 10 months."