Mersin's Silifke district, which is located in southern Turkey, is known to be a center for growing fruits. Producers in the district recently harvested strawberries in greenhouse fields that are destined to Iraq.
Strawberry production is an important revenue for farmers in the district. Both greenhouse and open-field strawberries contribute to the local economy.
From December until March farmers collected greenhouse strawberries to sell in the domestic market. Since March, producers started to export these as well. Together with open-field strawberries that will be harvested in April, exports volume will be much higher.
The products arrive to the wholesalers' market in Atayurt before distribution in the domestic market and abroad.
Ali Turer, head of Atayurt Wholesalers' Association said that the farmers in the district are working hard these days.
"Right now we export strawberries to Iraq. We also receive demands from Russia, however the current volume of production in our greenhouses cannot meet these demands. However, in early April our production of strawberries start in open-field as well. Therefore we will be able to export to Russia and other countries." said Turer.
Turer said that farmers grow 70 to 80 thousand kilograms of strawberries in a field of 2 thousand hectares.
"In Silifke, 3 thousand families grow strawberries stretched over 10 months. They keep busy with planting, pruning, maintenance and harvesting. Overall 10 thousand people work in this business." said Turer.
Source: TRT Haber