The Manisa Viticulture Research Institute conducted a study and managed to harvest grapes in the midst of winter. The research will allow the extension of the grape season to off-season with a second harvest and supply grapes to the markets from May to November/December.
The project "Viticulture based on a soil-free agriculture in fully enclosed greenhouse" aims at developing viticulture in the area and increasing producer revenue. The project started earlier this year. In June, the first harvest was completed and the second (winter) harvest that was planned ahead has recently finished.
The project that achieved a second grape harvest per year, is the first of its kind in Turkey. In the first harvest of the season, 3.5 tons were collected per 1 decare. The second harvest yielded one third of the first harvest. The project will not only allow the supply of grapes off-season, but it will also remove the obstacles in exports due to pesticide residues. In fully closed greenhouse system, it will be easier to control the production and protect grapes from pests.
The project also aims at using inactive lands and introduce viticulture to new areas. Therefore, it is expected to create more jobs in the region.
Manisa Viticulture Research Institute's President Akay Unal said that the productivity is higher in greenhouses compared to open fields. However, he underlined that the institute needs more time before they can share the know-how with the producers.
"We need two more years before we can share our know-how with the producers. This study will show us whether we can do viticulture in areas that are unfavourable in terms of land and climate. Based on the first year's results, we will soon have answers to this question." said President Unal.
"This year, we did the first harvest in June. However, later on, we planned to harvest a bit earlier. We will be able to supply grapes to the market as of May when there are no grapes. Since our producers will have the chance to produce off-season, they can increase their income." Unal concluded.