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Turkey: Opportunities in Aydin for greenhouse production

The city of Aydin, located in the western part of Turkey, offers many opportunities to growers for greenhouse production. Greenhouse production has an important place in the incentive programs of the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock.

Furthermore Aydin is located in a suitable region for exporting fruits and vegetables. There are also discussions at the ministry about making the use of geothermal energy resources obligatory in heating of the greenhouses. That would also benefit Aydin which has vast geothermal resources in its borders.

Local laws and regulations were recently redesigned to encourage the establishment of organized greenhouse cluster zones. For instance, the municipality of Buharkent district has already started with this type of project.

Another additional benefit is in terms of labor force. The labor force in Aydin has quite a keen knowledge of agricultural production. Moreover, the land prices in Aydin are lower than other greenhouse production cities such as Izmir, Antalya and Mugla. It is possible to have both big greenhouse production facilities or small ones sized around 30,000 – 50,000 square feet for family-run businesses. Also growers from Aydin can send their products to local markets in big cities on a daily basis due to close proximity. The sunshine hours in Aydin are quite long due to its climate as well, which could help the growers with costs. As a last benefit, the climate in Aydin is mild and stable. The city rarely experiences any storms or hurricanes, thus it provides a comfort level for growers against natural disasters and drives down the costs of insurance for growers.

However, more steps can be taken to encourage greenhouse production even more. For this purpose, the growers should be supported with more incentive programs that could help them to move from traditional production to greenhouse production. Cooperatives, grower groups and corporations should be formed in the areas where greenhouse production will become prevalent. A production plan for fruits and vegetables for the whole city should be prepared. The regulations regarding the wholesalers should be reorganized and the labor force should be supported with agricultural training programs. Also accreditation analysis laboratories should be established in the city. Building storage, processing and packaging facilities would also contribute to the development of the greenhouse production in the city.

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