Turkish greenhouse companies are now competing on a global scale and building greenhouses in other countries. Company owners noted the improvements in the industry and declared that they are expecting a 70% market growth thanks to new government incentives.
Speaking on behalf of the greenhouse companies, Greenhouse Construction and Equipment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (SERKONDER) Chairman Halil Kozan: “Our estimations indicate that the greenhouse market in Turkey will grow 70 % until the end of 2019 thanks to the government incentive programs to develop agricultural production in Turkey. Ziraat Bank, the biggest state bank in the country, is helping a lot of growers and investors through low-interest loans. The collateral the bank asks remains an issue as the experts determine the value of growers’ assets significantly lower than it is, and the growers cannot come up with enough collateral to receive sizable loans. If we can solve this final problem, it will really expedite all the greenhouse investments in the country.
"All of our members in the association are domestic, and now our members are manufacturing greenhouse materials and equipment at the same standards as their European counterparts. Turkish people used to think that greenhouses were just some poles covered with nylons, but that is not the case anymore. There have been numerous technological advancements in the greenhouse industry and now greenhouses are fully equipped with high-technology systems. The main purpose of a greenhouse is to create a factory-like production facility for agricultural production where the growers can control all the climate conditions within the greenhouse through automation systems.
"Currently, Turkish greenhouse companies are competing in the global market and are already building greenhouses in Russia and other Turkic countries. The software used in these greenhouses is also prepared within our country as well.
"Greenhouse investments contribute significantly to the national economy, in addition to creating employment opportunities for women. Almost 80% of the greenhouses in Turkey are for tomato production. Current government incentive programs cover 75% of your initial greenhouse investment costs, and the rest needs to come from the investor or grower’s pocket. If you set up your greenhouse at the right location and start with 1 hectare with an eye to expand to 4 hectares, that would be a wise strategy. In that scenario, you will break even in 7 years. Your location is especially important in reducing your heating and cooling expenses. An entrepreneur should first look at the locations where greenhouses are plenty when they are trying to identify a suitable area for their initial investment.
"It is also much more feasible to build greenhouses in colder areas where productivity is higher. In colder areas, a grower harvests on average 60 kilograms of products per square meter whereas, in warmer areas, this figure is between 25 to 30 kilograms. Heating expense is the most important cost item in greenhouses in cold areas, so if the greenhouse is built in an area with access to geothermal resources, it would bring significant cost benefits to the grower.”