Producers in Arsuz, Hatay, a city located in southern Turkey, have started to harvest parsley after a dry season. Arsuz Provincial Director of Agriculture and Forestry Serkan Yilmaz said: "This year, the rains that we expected came rather late. Due to this, producers had a difficult time. We hope that the second harvest will be easier for the producer."
Hatay is responsible of 55% of parsley production in Turkey. This season, producers in the city had an extra cost of irrigation due to the dry and hot weather.
Seasonal farmers from the East and Southeast come to help the harvest of parsley. They first collect the product, then clean and make bunches of parsley.
Whereas, in the field, 100 bunches of parsley cost 7 Turkish Lira (1.10 Euro), the same amount of parsley cost 20 Turkish Lira (3.13 Euro) in the supermarkets.
Director Yilmaz emphasised that parsley is an important product for the district's economy. Yilmaz said that producers grow parsley in an area of nearly 4.000 hectares. Products are not only consumed domestically but also exported, Yilmaz added.
Reminding about the dry season, Yilmaz said: "Our producers had difficulties this season. However, it started to snow in the East. We hope that the second harvest will be much easier."
Nearly 4.000 families make a living from parsley and the second harvest will start in January, Yilmaz said.
Producer Ozer Gokpinar also pointed out to the difficulties this season and said: "This year we had no rains. If it continues this way, we may make a loss. In the domestic market we still have summer parsley. What we have here is winter parsley. If there is not enough demand, we have to keep the parsley in the field and it needs irrigation. Otherwise it turns yellow. We use the water sprinkler system, but it costs high."
Gokpinar stated that they export parsley from their field to Russia, Romania and Bulgaria.