Zaman - The noticeable increase in the production of fresh fruit and vegetables in the last decade has made Turkey one of the top exporters of the two key agricultural commodities in the world, according to data released by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock.
The country produced 44.5 million tons of fruit and vegetables in 2011, up from 2002’s 39 million tons, becoming the 4th largest exporter of vegetables and 6th largest of fruits. Meanwhile, the export revenue in the same period rose exponentially, reaching USD 2.5 billion last year, from USD 534 million a decade earlier. The country exported over USD 1.6 billion worth of fruit and vegetables in the first nine months of the year, with a net increase of 23 percent over the same period of 2011. According to Ministry’s predictions, the production is expected to reach 18.5 million tons in fruits and 29.5 million tons in vegetables, making up a combined target of 48 million tons to reach by 2015.
The number one in Europe and the 7th in the world by production, Turkey’s agriculture sector exported over USD 15.3 billion worth of products in 2011. Around 40 percent of the country’s total land mass consists of arable land, offering a wide range of products such as grains, pulses, oil seeds, fruits and vegetables, cut flowers, poultry, milk and dairy products, fishery, honey and tobacco.