Home / Agricultural Economy / Agribusiness / AHMET AKBUGA: OLIVE OIL PRICES MAY REACH 250 LIRAS PER LITRE THIS YEAR!


As the climate crisis and unusual weather conditions strike the western province of Manisa’s Akhisar, one of Türkiye’s major olive producers, farmers are facing a staggering 87 percent decrease in harvest compared to the previous year, indicating an “olive disaster.”

Akhisar, which supplies 70 percent of the country’s table olive needs, is experiencing a significant yield loss in olive production due to climate change-related factors such as temperatures dropping to minus 6 degrees Celsius in April and excessive rainfall observed in the spring.

Olive farmers are now facing an alarming situation “where the branches are left with leaves instead of olives,” as they are concerned about their credit debts and field maintenance expenses.

The impact of this “olive disaster” is not limited to Manisa alone but also extends to neighbouring provinces of İzmir and Balıkesir, a group of farmers told daily Milliyet.

Ahmet Akbuğa

Ahmet Akbuğa, the head of Akhisar Agriculture Chamber, warned that olive oil prices may reach 250 Turkish Liras per litre this year, adding that the region is witnessing such a dire situation for the first time, and even the olive stocks in storage won’t be sufficient to cover the demand.

Pointing out that the usual-three-month-long harvest season will probably end in just one week this year, Akbuğa noted that last year’s harvest of 400,000 tonnes in the region is expected to be at most 50,000 tonnes.

Mehmet Hulusi Arabacı, one of the farmers with hundreds of olive trees in the region, explained that no fruits formed on the trees after heavy rains in spring and sudden temperature increases.

Arabacı added that he could not find even a single olive on a tree from which he collected 60 kilos of olives last year.

Noting that there are fertile and unproductive periods in agriculture, and this is quite normal for the sector, Arabacı said that however, this is the first time they have encountered the problem on this scale.

Sırrı Başlamış, another farmer with nine acres of olive groves, expressed concern over his 500-kilogram yield this year compared to 15 tonnes last year.

Despite the yield loss, some farmers still irrigate their olive trees from underground wells, but even the water resources are nearly depleted. The drilling depths have gone below 200 metres, leading to increased electricity bills. Many farmers worry about how they will afford the irrigation-related electricity expenses.

According to the data from the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry, over 23 million tonnes of olives were produced worldwide in 2021. Türkiye ranked third in olive production with an annual output of 1.7 million tonnes, following Spain and Italy. In 2022, olive production increased significantly by approximately 71 percent to reach 2.9 tonnes annually, making Türkiye the leader in the global olive market…

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