Enjoying increasing demand in recent years, Turkish farmers have invested in new orchards, uprooted non-commercial varieties, and replanted trees suitable for the export markets. There are also new private sector companies investing in juice production and fruit exports.
Turkish sweet cherry planted area grew around 18 percent from MY 2011/12 to MY 2020/21. Post estimates sweet cherry planted area at around 82,700 hectares (ha) in MY 2021/22. Post expects sour cherries planted area to stay at 20,600 ha in MY 2021/22. Total cherry planting area in MY 2020/21 is expected to be about 103,000 hectares, similarly to MY 2019/20.
Turkey has a lot of valuable cherry genetic resources because northern Anatolia is a center of the fruit’s origin. There are more than one hundred varieties of sweet cherries produced in Turkey. The 0900 Ziraat variety, also known as a Turkish Napoleon, was developed in Turkey and is the most popular variety in Turkey because it meets the higher quality characteristics demanded by export markets.
However, producers have started to try new cherry varieties such as Sweet Heart, Celeste, Early Lory, Kordia, Regina, Sam, and Sunburst for higher quality products, later harvest (to capture higher prices later in the season), and higher yields.