Aydin, a city located in southwestern Turkey, started to harvest Washington variety of oranges. The majority of oranges harvested in Kuyucak district are exported to countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Iraq.
Producers aim to complete the harvest before January when the temperatures might drop below 0 celsius degree. 15 tons of oranges are collected per day and then they are sent to cold storages.
Aegean Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Exporters' Association's Chairman Hayrettin Ucak said that Turkey exported 129.000 tons of oranges in the first ten months of the year. While Iraq was the top export market in oranges with 68.000 tons, this country was followed by Russia, Ukraine and Georgia.
"In 2018, we exported 100 million USD (90.86 million Euro) worth of oranges. This year, within the first ten months we have only exported 40 million USD (36.34 million Euro) worth of oranges. We aim to increase this export value. In 2018, Turkey exported 285.000 tons of oranges to more than 70 countries including Iraq, Russia, Romania, Serbia, Azerbaijan, Qatar, Bulgaria and Saudi Arabia." said Ucak.
Cobanisa Village headman Sehmuz Mizrak wished farmers a good harvest season. While he reminded about last year's higher prices and yields, he explained how they take precautions against the Mediterranean Fruit Fly and mealybugs.
"In our village, farmers grow citrus products for 45-50 years now. Oranges are sprayed after the harvest since they will be stored in cold storages for 3 to 4 months. This way, we keep them fresh. Our oranges are popular abroad, but domestic consumption is limited." said Mizrak.
Producer Gulsum Gezgin said: "We harvest oranges around this time and sell them in February or March. We are not satisfied with the prices. Our input costs are high and we cannot generate enough revenue. It is a hard work, and yet the labor costs are too little. The daily wage per worker is only 80 Turkish Lira (12.60 Euro) a day."
Ali Ihsan Koc produces citrus products for 50 years in Cobanisa village said: "Since 1983, we store oranges in cold storages. For 15 years, our revenue was not satisfying. However, this has gotten better for the last two years. Our products ripen around March and April. Then the prices go higher. Last year, the prices went up to 2 Turkish Lira. Currently, oranges in the field cost 0.60 Turkish Lira (0.09 Euro). One can make 6.000 Turkish Lira (946 Euro) from 10 tons of oranges."
Ilhan Celik, producer, sells his products from the field without having stored them. He said that the weather conditions positively influenced the yields and that the prices will probably go up. Celik continued: "I sold my products right away. I don't store them. You need a separate budget in order to store 100 tons of oranges. Since, I do not wish to pay for the storage, I sell them to traders. The prices change depending on the quality. The price of oranges from the field can go up to 0.75 Turkish Lira (0.12 Euro). I will calculate my total revenue at the end of the harvest."
Source: CNN Turk