Producers in Adana, a city located in southern Turkey, have started to harvest grapefruits that are destined for Russia, Ukraine, Canada, Romania and Saudi Arabia.
Adana is one of the most important citrus producers in the country. The city is responsible of 75% of the overall grapefruit production in Turkey. Producers grow Star Ruby and Rio Red varieties of grapefruits in an area of 4.000 hectares. Depending on the size and weight, the price of grapefruits ranges from 0.80 to 1.20 Turkish Lira (0.13 to 0.19 Euro) per kilo. Grapefruits are exported mainly to Russia and Canada, followed by European countries. This season, the expected yield in Adana is 270.000 tons, however producers are not content with the prices, said Yuregir Chamber of Agriculture's Chairman Mehmet Akin Dogan.
Little domestic consumption
Chairman Dogan said that even though the Mediterranean climate allows producers to grow grapefruits in Turkey, the production is not abundant.
"Grapefruit harvest continues until the end of April. The productivity is very high. Last year, it was much less. In Turkey, the demand for other citrus products increased. Therefore, not many people planted grapefruits. Grapefuits are not highly demanded in the domestic market; they are usually exported." said Dogan.
In Turkey, only Adana, Mersin and Hatay produces grapefruits, reminded Dogan. Stating that the majority of the harvest is exported Chairman Dogan said: "Following the harvest, grapefruits are sent to packaging facilities and then they are exported to Russia, Ukraine, Canada, Romania and Saudi Arabia. Usually, grapefruits are squeezed for juice. However, as of February grapefruits become more sweet and if we still have some left, we export them to Japan and China."
Dogan also added that grapefruit has the highest productivity in the citrus group with 5 to 8 tons per 0,1 hectare, while other citrus products have had lower yields this season.