Banana and avocado production had first started in greenhouses in the district of Gazipasa and then spread to other districts within Antalya such as Alanya, Manavgat, Aksu, Finike, Kumluca, and Demre. Now mango production is starting to take off in these districts as well with the mango prices going up to as high as 10 USD per kg with increasing demand in the domestic market. Growers pointed out the profitability of the tropical fruit production and the added value of having a diversified product assortment from the growers in the area and demanded tropical fruit production be included in the current-existing state support and funding programs for agricultural production.
Speaking to the press, Antalya Chamber of Agriculture Chairman Nazif Alp: “After banana production was included in the state support and funding programs, we have observed a rapid increase in greenhouse banana production. Consequently, Turkey was able to lower its banana imports by a significant margin. Now we believe a similar increase in production can occur in other tropical fruits such as dragonfruit, avocado, and papaya if they were to be included in the aforementioned state incentive and funding programs. Our growers are capable of growing these high-value-added products if the state gives them some support in setting up their greenhouses. We will bring this issue up in a meeting with the officials from the Ministry of Agriculture.”
Sefa Oguz, a grower from the district of Gazipasa, has led the way so far in greenhouse mango production and he noted that if the production of mango is supported, it will soon become a significant product for Turkish growers. Sefa Oguz: “As the mango production in the country is not enough to fulfill the domestic demand yet, we are selling all of our products to the local markets. However, as we consult with the foreigners living in the region, they indicate that the quality is comparable to the mangoes sold in their home countries thus we can start exporting this product once we have enough production to fulfill the domestic orders. Mango, once its matured, is not durable enough for a long transportation period and most of the mangoes which came to Turkey came from the Far East, therefore, imported mangoes from the Far East were harvested before maturation. As a result, they were not tasteful however our homegrown mangoes are harvested at the right time and therefore taste much better than imported ones. Now a lot of growers have started mango production and the local sellers are purchasing our mangoes and selling them at the local market for as high as 10 USD per kg. So we have not only diversified our product assortment, but we have also improved the quality offered to the end customers. Our efficiency is also increasing steadily as we learn more about mango production from our experiences.
"We have applied to the agricultural incentive programs to increase our mango production capacity and our application was accepted. Currently, I have a production area of 1 hectare and as I receive the final approval from the Ministry, I will immediately start construction to expand my production area. Once it is completed, it will be the first mango greenhouse built with the assistance of the state support and funding programs.”