The Turkish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry announced that the export restriction on tomatoes, which was previously announced to last until April 14, has been lifted. It was previously announced that the ban, which was introduced on March 2, would last until April 14. The ban was introduced to ensure supply availability in the domestic market and to prevent the rising prices of tomatoes. However, the ban was strongly criticized by the growers as tomato remains the main fresh produce export product for Türkiye.
Tomato growers across the country welcomed with joy the lifting of the ban. The tomato producers in Mugla's Seydikemer and Fethiye districts reacted to the decision by making a joint statement together with the members of the Growers and Exporters Chambers in Fethiye Karaculha Wholesaler Fruit and Vegetable Market.
Seydikemer Mayor Yakup Otgoz said, "The tomato export ban has been lifted with the instructions of our President Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan. We would like to thank our Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu, our Minister of Trade Mehmet Mus, and our Mugla Deputies for their support. Good luck to our farmers and export companies in our region." After the news, increased activity is observed in the region this morning with growers receiving orders and starting to fulfill them. As the restriction is lifted, the majority of the tomatoes will be sent to European countries.
Kadir Ozdemir of Basyazicioglu Tarim stated that the export ban never should have been implemented in the first place. "It was a restriction that shouldn't have been there. Thankfully, this wrong application was corrected in a rather short time. In this process, the export of the tomatoes is vital for all producers. For now, we continue our season. I wish that this season the export will last a little longer, as it seems the season can still meet our expectations."
Tomato producer Yasar Ozkara noted, "The domestic market does not consume the tomatoes we produce. The export price of export-grade tomatoes is 0.63 USD/ kg, but the market price of tomatoes is around 0.2 USD/ kg in the domestic market. If there is no export, we would stop tomato production because we will be suffering a tremendous amount of losses if we had sold all of our products at the domestic market rates. If our export doors had remained closed, it would have been a big problem for the farmers. We are planting tomatoes for export. If the traders had not sent products to the places they have agreements with, they and we would have been in a difficult situation."
Kumluca West Mediterranean Merchants Association President Osman Ocal said, "The removal of this restriction made us very happy for both our producers, our consumers, and our traders. As traders, we have to stand by the producer as well as the consumer."
Kumluca Wholesaler Hall Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Brokers Association Vice President, broker Uzeyir Ozyurek is also among those who are glad that the ban has been removed. Stating that it is good for brokers and traders, Ozyurek said, "It would be good for our state, our farmers, our brokers, and our exporters."