The Agriculture and Forestry Directorate in Antalya has announced that banana imports have declined due to the increase in local production. Mustafa Ozen, head of the directorate said: "While we import fewer bananas, we have an export volume of 25 thousand tons. Last year we exported bananas to the Maldives."
Mersin, Anamur, Gazipasa and Alanya have been the only production areas for bananas. Now, Antalya's western districts; Manavgat, Kepez, Dosemealti and Kumluca also grow them.
Ozen welcomed the increase in production, however he contended that it was not enough. He said: "We still import bananas to close the gap. Especially since 2017 we have an increased production in Manavgat. Last year, our overall production volume reached 163 thousand tons. In Manavgat alone, banana production increased by 3 to 4 times in an area of 150 hectares."
Turkey imports fewer bananas
Ozen emphasized that Turkey's banana imports decreased from 200 thousand tons to 150 thousand tons. He said: "If the banana sector in Turkey keeps developing at this speed, in 5 years we might stop importing bananas altogether."
Ozen stated that banana exports increased by three times and that Turkey now exports to the Maldives.
Pointing to the different bananas grown in Antalya, Ozen said: "Our bananas have a special aroma. They are not like the bananas grown in warm climates. People here ask for local bananas. We can increase the demand for our bananas in the global markets as well."