Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) President Mehmet Büyükekşi said he expects olive and olive oil exports this year to reach $300 million, increase almost by 100 percent next year and total up to $5 billion by 2023, while speaking at the Third Akhisar Harvest Festival on Sunday.
Büyükekşi also said any sector that helps reduce the county's current account deficit is very important and hopes the increase in exports will help to end the deficit. He said olive and olive oil products are very important in the region, which is trying to create its own regional trademark as well as increase the country's exports.
Incentives provided by the Ministry of Agriculture helped increase olive and olive oil production in Turkey, which is number five in olive oil production and number four in the number of olive trees in the world. Newly planted olive tree will be available for harvest in three years, at which time production will increase three-and-a-half fold.
TİM board member Ali Nedim Güreli told participants at the festival that the technology in Turkish olive and olive oil production facilities is far better than facilities in Spain and Italy and said, “Turkey will become the second largest producer in a couple of years with an output of 600,000 tons of olive oil and 800,000 tons of olives, which will enable the country to have a say in setting prices in the sector as output in the country increases.”
Akhisar Commodities Exchange President Emin Demirci emphasized that the sector exports to 62 countries and said the latest equipment was used this year, which helps reduce costs during olive harvesting. He also stated that they will continue their attempts to expand the use of new equipment by securing rural development support provided by the government to help the agriculture sector begin implementing same technology and techniques as those used in European Union countries.