Associate Professor Mesut Eren from the European Union Institute of Marmara University said that Turkey could meet European countries' demands for organic fresh produce once there is an improvement in Customs Union negotiations. Eren added that Turkey has large fields that are suitable for organic farming.
Assoc.Prof. Eren informed organic agriculture associations members in a training organized in Palandoken Ski Center within the scope of "The Project for Increasing the Management Capacity and Reputation of Civil Society Organizations in Turkey". In this EU funded training, Eren emphasized that Turkey has fields that are suitable for organic agriculture and continued: "We have large fields that are free of pesticides and that are not exposed to environmental damages and thus suitable for organic farming. We would like to benefit from this. Organic products are a bit expensive, nevertheless we've started to buy them. The future is in this area. We aim for the Customs Union with the EU to be extended to the export of agricultural products as well. If we can do this, Turkey will be in a very advantageous position in exports. It is possible that Turkey will meet European demands for organic fresh produce. The Customs Union negotiations aim to go in that direction. Negotiations will start soon."
Prof. Eren also shared his thoughts on the current agricultural policies in Turkey: "Currently, we don't know who plants what, who harvests what and what yields are expected for the next season. However, this is a standard procedure in 28 countries in the EU. For example, Poland knows how much they planted and how much they expect to harvest next season. Unfortunately, it doesn't work this way in Turkey. Our farmers plant the product that is most profitable. Then, everyone end up planting the same product and they cannot even collect their products due to a surplus. However, this will change once we are integrated into the EU. As far as I can see in organic agriculture trainings, there are producers that know what they are doing and how to use these opportunities. Our trainings have been very productive."
Source: DHA (Turgay Ipek)