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TAHIR GOKTEPE: ALANYA’S FARMERS TURN TO AVOCADO

Farmers are increasingly turning their focus from bananas to avocado cultivation in the southern province of Alanya, which has emerged as Türkiye’s tropical fruit production hub. This shift is driven by the avocado’s ability to thrive in tropical climates, its lower maintenance costs and the potential for higher income than bananas.

Despite bananas being the preferred choice for a long time, farmers have started prioritizing avocado production due to lower production costs and higher financial returns.

Tahir Göktepe, head of the Alanya Chamber of Agriculture, stated that farmers in the district produced 130 million avocados from August 2022 to March 2023.

“As bananas require a lot of water during the summer months, producers turned to avocados. While four tons of water are used daily per acre for banana production, avocados and other tropical fruits like mangoes only need water twice a week for one hour each time. This reduces costs by one-fifth. Water consumption is one of the key factors in this transition,” Göktepe explained.

Avocado production is carried out with nearly 3,000 producers in an area of approximately 7,500 decares in the district, he said.

“We have 2,500 avocado trees. In the first year, we usually don’t get much yield. We ask our producers not to pick the fruit even if the tree bears fruit, as this helps the tree develop better.”

Tahir Bozok

Stating that they expect avocado production to reach 150 million fruits in the upcoming season, Göktepe highlighted many individuals, from farmers to industrialists, from the tourism sector to lawyers and doctors, have contributed to the industry during the pandemic, and this will reflect in the production.

“The orchards planted in 2021-2022 will start yielding next season. With their contribution, this year’s products will be sufficient for both the domestic market and exports,” he added.

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About İsmail Uğural

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