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Turkey takes initiative on hi-tech greenhouses

In order to prevent high prices in fruits and vegetables and to increase productivity throughout the year, Turkey will launch hi-tech greenhouses. In the first stage, hi-tech greenhouses will be constructed in an area of 2 thousand hectares. Nine cities will benefit from the project due to their geothermal resources.

Following diseases and natural disasters the country experienced a decrease in the production of fruits and vegetables which resulted in increased prices. Therefore, the ministry of finance prepared this project within the scope of reform package announced last month.

As part of the reform package, Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak announced a National Unity Project in Agriculture that aims to adapt a better planning in food supply chain. To this end, important steps will be taken to construct greenhouses.

Hi-tech greenhouses in an area of 2000 hectares
The project is undertaken by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Agricultural Credit Cooperative. In the first phase of the project, the aim is to construct 2 thousand hectares of greenhouses in 2019. In the medium term, the aim is to construct hi-tech greenhouses in an area of 5 thousand hectares.

20 greenhouses in 100 hectares
Muslum Yanmaz, the president of Greenhouse Investors and Producers' Association stressed on the importance of planning and suggested that a cooperation between public and private sectors would be necessary. He also shared their vision of a model that is based on 20 greenhouses in an area of 100 hectares.

"We would like to invest if we have the fields and the water"
Yanmaz said that the public sector is willing to invest if they are given the fields and the water. "In Turkey, only 2% of greenhouses are productive due to lack of physical equipment. As a result of this, the productivity is low and the product is not healthy. Therefore, the steps that will be taken with this project are very important."

High productivity is aimed for
Yanmaz added that in the period between December and April, usually the world suffers from lack of supply.

In hi-tech greenhouses, Turkey currently produces 300 thousand tons, whereas in traditional greenhouses that production amounts to 3,7 million tons. The current capacity of production in hi-tech greenhouses  is only 10% of the traditional greenhouses. "It is aimed to increase this up to 20 to 25%." said Yanmaz.

9 cities stand out
In terms of geothermal resources, Turkey is the leading country in Europe and ranks as 7th. in the world. Yanmaz said that, Sanliurfa, Izmir, Afyon, Usak, Kutahya, Denizli, Manisa, Aydin and Agri stand out as potential cities to construct hi-tech greenhouses.

Production throughout the year
Turkey Wholesaler Federation's president Yuksel Tavsan stressed on the need to improve the current greenhouses while hi-tech greenhouses will be underway. He said: "Thanks to hi-tech greenhouses, sustainability will be achieved in the production of fruits and vegetables. We will also be able to achieve a balance in prices in the domestic market, while we will be able to meet the demand from abroad."





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