Sahlep production work is carried out in cooperation with the Muğla Agriculture and Forestry Provincial Directorate and the Aegean Agricultural Research Institute within the scope of the “Project for the Dissemination and Development of the Production of Medicinary, Aromatic and Dye Plants” conducted by the General Directorate of Plant Production of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
It is aimed that the sahlep orchid, which is planted in districts at different altitudes, will bring income to the producers and protect the species.
Sahleps, which made the farmers smile during the previous harvest periods, are sent to major cities such as Istanbul and Ankara, especially the surrounding provinces, after the demand in Muğla region is met.
Barış Saylak, Provincial Director of Agriculture and Forestry, said that sahlep, which they continue to produce on an area of 70 decares in 13 districts of Muğla, is a value-added plant.
Stating that the province has a great potential in terms of endemic diversity, Saylak said, “Unfortunately, as a result of the trade of this business with illegal removal over the years, we have unfortunately suffered a loss in sahlep. There are 21 endemic sahlep species in Muğla province. We are facing a huge demand but have difficulty meeting it. This year, we harvested sahlep on 70 decares of land.”
Saylak noted that the producers were very satisfied with both the yield and the price.
Pointing out that sahlep has become a crop preferred by the producers due to its high yield and price in a short time, Saylak stated that approximately 300 kilograms of product is purchased per decare.
Enise Soykan, Chairwoman of Muğla Sahlep Producers Union, said that she quit her job at the bank where she worked for 10 years and started producing sahlep in Milas district.
Indicating that she has been producing for 2 years on the land she rented, Soykan added, “There are 75 species of sahlep tubers in the province and 16 of them are about to become extinct.
Reminding that Turkey needs an average of 45 tonnes of sahlep per year, Soykan concluded, “55 percent of sahlep production in our country takes place in Muğla, Aydın and Antalya provinces. Muğla is a gene bank for sahlep. We ensure that the endemic species in our region increase by including in production and performing the right production method.”