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Turkey: Growing tomatoes in the cold thanks to geothermal greenhouse

Four years ago, an entrepreneur built geothermal greenhouses in the Ayrancilar district of Van, a city located in southeastern Turkey. The greenhouses were built with the support of state funds. The temperature in the district can drop as low as minus 46 degrees. Yet the greenhouses are fully operational and the tomatoes and cucumbers grown in these greenhouses are sold to the retailers and wholesalers in the country.

The greenhouses are built on 3.4 hectares and the initial investment cost is around 1.7 million USD. The tomatoes grown in these greenhouses are produced through organic production methods and were trademarked with the brand name “AgroVan”. Most of the greenhouse employees are notably women who express their delight in finding employment in a greenhouse in a region where greenhouse production is not common due to climate conditions.

Van Agricultural Investments Support Department Project Coordinator Yusuf Taskin: “This is the coldest area of Turkey and we are currently in the coldest time of the year. Yet the tomato production continues in this geothermal greenhouse. Right now our grower harvests around 1,000 tons of tomatoes annually but the goal is to increase the production volume to 1,500 tons. In addition to the tomato, the grower has also started growing cucumbers to diversify his product portfolio. The city of Van is blessed with geothermal resources that are not being fully utilized yet. This type of business initiative sets a good example for the residents here. We hope more people here will start geothermal greenhouse production in the area after this successful example. It will create more economic activity, generate more income for the region and create jobs for people living here.”

Source: CNN Turk

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