20 Aug

Turkish Olives and olive oil producers ask for urgent solutions

By GÖZDE ASLANTAŞ,

greeen olives on treeA dramatic fall in this year’s olive oil production has forced producers to ask for government support. “The loss in olive orchards is growing every day,” said Ersezgin Companies Group food department chief, Naci Özgen, illustrating the dim situation of olive oil and olive producers.

In addition to the ravaging effects of global warming on olives and olive oil production, the producers experience many other problems as well. “The producer is also ruined and dragged into misery by the lack of support, efficiency in price policies and new technology transfers as well as rising wastewater problems and unfair competition in the market. Moreover, EU environmental legislation and overseas competition pose a challenge to local producers while the expected future production surplus keeps being a threat,” said Özgen.

The excessive regression of underground waters, changing climate and extreme heat seriously damaged the orchards. The Council of Ministers declared 40 cities to be under the natural disasters law. Eight of them are in the Aegean region.

“Yet, olives remained outside the range of the law. It was because the yield was not determined yet. The real dimensions of the loss will reveal itself in October when the real numbers are announced,” asserted Özgen. He said that what was more important for the sector was the application of new technologies, setting up national policies and providing government support.

Saving 75 percent water with drip irrigation:

Increasing productivity while preserving natural resources is another important issue that should be tackled. The drip irrigation method can thus be the savior of the producer. Although this method is slightly costly, it constitutes a perfect way of saving water during these days of global warming.

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