Farmers in Tarsus, a town based to the south of Turkish city Mersin, began harvesting their products in the fields damaged by heavy rains.
As fields are flooded, farmers in Tarsus started an early harvest to salvage their products. Not only did the heavy rains flood the greenhouse lands, it also disrupted everyday life in the town.
Farmers collected cabbage, spinach, aubergines and peppers that were not damaged by the rains.
Ali Ergezer, President of Tarsus Chamber of Agriculture said that the area is important for greenhouse cultivation and that it is one of the biggest producers in Turkey.
Ergezer said farmers grow vegetables in an area of 5 thousand hectares. "Due to rain, we have damage in a field of 5 to 6 thousand hectares. Heavy rain have affected our vegetables. These greenhouse cultivations are not modern, and some of them are not even insured. They definitely need to be insured." Ergezer added.
Aubergines and zucchinis are the ones that have been damaged the most in the flooded fields. Ergezer said that farmers started an early harvest to salvage their products.
Stating that farmers are now struggling to harvest in difficult conditions Ergezer said: "We don't know about the quality of the production yet, but this will affect the pricing for sure. We expect to be compensated. We will have a lot of costs when we plant vegetables again. This extra cost will increase the price at which we sell the product."
"My fields are flooded"
Hüseyin Karabiyik, a farmer in the area said that they have already started to harvest zucchinis a while ago. However, due to rains they had to stop the harvest and now they wait, he added.
"Greenhouses are completely filled with water to a depth of 1 meter. I have a field of 2 hectares. All of it is now under water. We lost about 100 thousand Turkish Lira (16,440 Euro). These will be removed and new saplings will be planted. We'll wait for the water to drain away. Last year we had the same problem. In this case, we usually have to wait for about 20 to 25 days. Therefore, we will not be able to plant again at least for a month." said Karabiyik.
Ibrahim Esin, another farmer in the area indicated that zucchinis, peppers and aubergines have been damaged to a great extent. Pointing to the difficult harvesting conditions in the mud, Esin said that he'll try to salvage what's left of their devastated crops.