In 1982, a 3.5-decare geothermal greenhouse was established in the Omer-Gecek Thermal Region by the Provincial Directorate of Agriculture and Forestry and the Special Provincial Administration in the city of Afyon, located in the western part of the country.
The production of tomatoes, cucumbers, and cut flowers, which were successful in trials that lasted for about 10 years, attracted the attention of investors in the private sector. Investments in this field have increased every year.
In recent years, geothermal greenhouse production, which mainly produces tomatoes in clusters in Afyon and its districts, makes a great contribution to the regional economy and created a significant amount of jobs for the residents of the city.
Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Director Ibrahim Acar told that there is a geothermal greenhouse area of 161 hectares, all equipped with a technological automation system in Afyon.
Stating that with the Geothermal Greenhouse Organized Industrial Zone, which is planned to be established soon, the area where geothermal greenhouse cultivation is carried out in the city will exceed 300 hectares, Acar added:
"In these greenhouses, mainly tomatoes are produced. 60% of the tomatoes we produce are exported, and 40% are sold to the domestic market. The main export destinations for tomatoes produced in the geothermal greenhouses in our city are 14 countries, such as Germany, the Netherlands, Greece, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates. Around 80,000 tons of tomatoes are produced in our city in geothermal greenhouses annually, and there is an export potential of approximately 90 million USD from here. Therefore, a significant contribution is made to the economy of Afyon and the country. With the grant support programs of our Ministry, our geothermal greenhouse investors are constantly increasing in our region."
Acar stated that approximately 2,500 people are employed in the geothermal greenhouses in Afyonkarahisar, and the number of workers increases as the greenhouse areas expand.
Investor Hakan Kozan said that they started geothermal greenhouse cultivation on 1.5 hectares of land 7 years ago in the Sandikli district, and they increased their production area to 8 hectares over time.
Stating that they aim to increase the geothermal greenhouse areas to 15 hectares in a few years, Kozan said, "The most significant cost item in greenhouse production is heating. Thus geothermal resources also attract investors because it minimizes this heating cost. There are geothermal greenhouse areas in different parts of Türkiye. The geothermal water distribution system of the Sandikli Municipality provides an advantage to the investor. Investments in the sector are constantly increasing, as the commercial return is good and the growers remain profitable."
Emphasizing that Afyon is an attractive region for investors with the grants and support provided by the government, Kozan said that many exporting companies in Türkiye buy tomatoes from the geothermal greenhouses in Sandikli.
Investor Ramazan Cetinkaya also stated that they have a geothermal greenhouse established on an area of 1.3 hectares in Sandikli and that they have been producing tomatoes for export for 11 months of the year.