Haluk Atamal:

Export forces Turkish growers to invest in better technology

More and more Turkish growers realize the benefits of investing in better, but more expensive greenhouse technology. High end technology is still not seen enough amidst the 61,000 hectares in Turkey, but according to consultant Haluk Atamal, some growers realize they require advanced technology in order to produce better quality produce.

Haluk Atamal is a well known name in the Turkish horticulture sector. For more than nineteen years he is working in horticulture automation and twelve years ago he started a cooperation with Ridder HortiMaX. “Haluk is one of the best in the market because of his knowledge and his support,” says Arjen Janmaat of HortiMaX about the Turkish greenhouse consultant.

Arjen Janmaat and Haluk Atamal at the GrowTech Eurasia last month in Antalya, Turkey. Haluk has made a very nice photo album about the Turkish greenhouse sector.

Together with HortiMaX, Haluk has realized two impressive installations at Turkish greenhouse projects this year. One at a four hectare greenhouse for the company Thalia Tomat in Antalya, built with AYS Projects and one six hectare greenhouse in Afyon for the company Yasarlar A.S., built with Richel.

The control panels at the freshly planted greenhouse of Yasarlar

According to Haluk, the increasing demand for better quality and sustainable produced greenhouse vegetables is the reason that more growers invest in his technology. “In the past, most of the produce was sold locally, because the prices are usually quite good. But now also the export market is starting to develop. In the past, the quality of Turkish greenhouse vegetables didn’t meet the standards for the export. The vegetables were rejected because of too many quality problems or exceedings in regards to chemicals and pesticides. Since the last two or three years the quality of Turkish greenhouse vegetables has been getting better and better and the vegetables sector is thriving. Better results are being achieved with better technology.”


As an example, Haluk told us about the project in Afyon, where a grower invested in the technology of Ridder and HortiMaX. "This six hectare greenhouse in the region of Sandikli is really something special. It’s quite a complex project in regards to heating, climate control and irrigation. The greenhouse is equipped with the HortiMaX CX500 process computer, a FertiMix Unit and Ridder Drive systems. The grower Yasarlar A.S. could also have picked cheaper supplies, but they realized that it would make more sense to invest in knowledge and high end technology."

The greenhouse, that is built with a Richel construction, has a very comprehensive heating system. “The greenhouse uses geothermal energy and we designed a total of 26 heating groups in sixteen different zones to create a homogeneous climate. This was necessary to overcome the difference between the inside and outside temperature, because in the winter it can be minus 20 degrees outside. Thanks to the design of the heating, it is possible for the grower to produce year round.

The 4 hectares of Thalia Tomat in Antalya

Investors from other industries

Haluk explained us that a lot of Turkish investors and enterprises from outside the horticultural sector are interested in investing in the greenhouse businesses. “The six hectare greenhouse in Afyon is an investment from the Yasarlar Group, who are part of a large textile manufacturer. That’s a real trend in Turkey. One of the reasons people from other industries are interested in investing in the greenhouse sector, aside from the good ROI, is that it is a real prestige point to say that you have your own greenhouse that grows tomatoes.”

Haluk's knowledge about advanced greenhouse horticulture is demanded by many, and his company fills a gap in the market. "Because the greenhouse sector in Turkey is a very young sector, it’s hard to find good advisors. There was a rapid development of the technological greenhouse industry between 2005 and 2008. Now it’s a big challenge to find the right people to control these high-tech systems. Also it’s hard to find the right advisors who have real knowledge of automated greenhouses. This means that there is a lot of work for us to do in the coming years!"

For more information:

Haluk Atamal Tarım Otomasyon Sist. Ltd.
Yeşilbahçe mah. 1450 Sokak 7/3,
07160 Antalya
Tel: 0242-3128636 / GSM: 0532-2613347
Web: www.halukatamal.com.tr

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