In Izmir’s Torbali district, a leading centre of winter vegetable production, farmers have started to harvest leeks in a field of 500 hectares. The harvest continues in difficult conditions due to the cold and rainy weather.
Leeks from Izmir are not only destined to the domestic market but also exported to Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Poland and Bulgaria.
Leeks are planted in the field from July to September and they are grown within 3 to 6 months. In November, the first harvest starts and the leeks are cleaned and packed in bales of 20 kilograms. Domestically, leeks are either sent to the market or to the coolers. The ones that will be exported go through a different process; they are cut depending on the importer's demand, cleaned and then packed.
According to the Provincial Directorate of Agriculture and Forestry's data, 36 thousand tons of leeks have been collected in 2017. With the increased planting area this year, a higher yield is expected.
Export of leeks is satisfactory
Yilmaz Girgin, head of Torbali Chamber of Agriculture said that Turkey is one of the most important centers for vegetable production. "We export to European countries including Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Bulgaria. Last year, it wasn't a successful year for us, we couldn't sell our products. This year, our farmers are satisfied with the demand. The leeks that go to the domestic market cost 1,8 Turkish Lira (0,29 Euro) per kilo, and the ones that are exported to Europe cost 5 Turkish Lira (0,81 Euro) per kilo. Currently, farmers are content with the pricing." said Girgin.