Turkey Stone Fruit Annual 2009
Turkey continues to be one of the world’s major producers of fresh fruit and vegetables. Stone fruits account for 14 percent of fruit production in Turkey, the third most significant after deciduous and citrus fruits. Most stone fruit is consumed fresh in the domestic market.
Cherry and peach production were significantly affected by unfavorable weather conditions in MY 2007 and production of both crops decreased significantly. In line with low production levels, cherry exports also decreased to 29,000 MT in MY 2007 from 57,000 MT in MY 2006.
Cherry production rebounded in MY 2008. Cherry exports also bounced back, reaching 51,000 MT. Unless unexpected weather conditions occur during the blooming season, cherry production and exports are predicted to increase in MY 2009.
Peach production did not suffer from weather conditions in MY 2007 or MY 2008. However, peach exports increased 27,000 MT in MY 2007 to 43,000 MT. This unusual increase was mostly due to high yields and better prices abroad.
Most Turkish stone fruit producers are still using traditional techniques and varieties, making their product less competitive in the European market. Their reluctance to convert to new varieties are among the major problems the Turkish stone fruit sector is facing, and improved technology and management would improve their position in the market.
Turkish producers are showing an increasing interest in stone fruit production, mainly due to low returns from other crops. Therefore, stone fruit production is predicted to continue to increase in the near future.