Woman entrepreneur grows dragonfruit in her greenhouse in Sakarya, Turkey

Zeynep Yigit, 42, living in Sakarya's Adapazari district, produces the tropical fruit dragonfruit in a 320 square meter greenhouse she created with her own means and the support of her family.

While living in the city center, Yigit decided she wanted to live a village life by moving to Kayrancik District of Adapazari a while ago. Yigit, who decided to focus on agriculture, encountered dragonfruit while searching for ancestral seeds to grow vegetables on the internet. She went to Mersin with her husband and carried out her own research.

Yigit, who bought about 150 dragonfruit seedlings brought from the Mediterranean Region in 2019 to the soil in the small greenhouse in her garden, spent 7-8 months trying to grow these plants.

Continuing production in a 320 square meter greenhouse with the ripening of the seedlings, Yigit plucked the first fruit from its branch in July last year. Yigit, who achieved a yield of 150 kilograms in the first year of production, sold the fruits to the customers in the domestic market. 

Yigit aims to expand her greenhouse, which she created with her own means and the support of her family. The grower wants to expand her greenhouse to 2 acres in order to produce 6 tons in 3 years and wants to export her products.

Yigit stated that when she started production in a small greenhouse at first, the seedlings were under stress for 7-8 months, but then they got used to the environment.  She said that other growers can follow her example and establish bigger dragonfruit greenhouses in order to be able to export this fruit. 

"I didn't even plant tomatoes before I moved to the village," Yigit said, expressing her satisfaction with dragonfruit production.

Yigit said, "Half of the greenhouse is my own seedlings. I have had 150 kilograms of fruit from last July until now. Dragonfruits begin to yield after 3 years. After these 3 years, we have a target of approximately 30 kilograms of fruit per year on a single tree.

We experience frost and frost in the winter months in Sakarya. We burn the stove from night to 06 am in the morning. We burn the stove for more than 2 months. If I can keep the night temperature of the greenhouse at 15 degrees in summer and winter, I can get fruit all year round. Apart from that, it is difficult to get up at night as we get up to throw wood into the stove. The weather is getting cold. We suffer from insomnia, but the more we see the fruits, the more determined we become. Every fruit was a joy for us. We are happy even when we see a bud. We are happy that this fruit has grown here.

We have a plan to build 2 acres of greenhouses. We have friends who sell products abroad. We did not start for commercial purposes, but the business has grown this much." 

Thanking her family for their support, Yigit added that she also experimented with the production of different products such as golden strawberries, avocados, kivano, and Mexican tomatoes in her garden, and added that she was successful.

Source: AA

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