Turkish exporters aim to export pomegranates to the Far East market for the first time this year.
Producers in Selcuk, Izmir, a city located in western Turkey, grow pomegranates besides citrus as an alternative source of income. They are satisfied with the high productivity this year. Aegean Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Exporters Association's Chairman Hayrettin Ucak stated that pomegranate is a very valuable product for the region.
Chairman Ucak said that pomegranates business has become more widespread for the last 7 to 8 years and continued:
"More people now plant 'Hicaz' pomegranates. Demand for this product is also increasing. We export to 57 countries including Russia, Germany and Iraq. We are very pleased with this. This year, we expect to have a good season as well. Producers are satisfied with the production, quality and prices. As long as weather conditions are good, there are no risks in growing pomegranates. Only if the nights are too cold and the days are too warm, then the product might be damaged. There may be cracks in pomegranates. However, we use these in juice making and, since the damaged pomegranates still create value, we don't make a loss."
"We exported pomegranates to 68 countries"
Chairman Hayrettin Ucak underlined that in 2018 Turkey exported 207 thousand tons of pomegranates and earned 114 million USD (103,3 million Euro) in return.
"We exported pomegranates to 68 countries. We expect to export more this year. We expect to increase our exports by 10%. As Aegean Exporters' Association (EIB) we work on 2 UR-GE Projects (Supporting The Development Of International Competitiveness). We work on pomegranates, seedless table grapes and cherries. We will introduce our pomegranates to the Far East market. Following cherries that are exported to China for the first time, we will export pomegranates as well to the Far East." said Ucak.