Thanks to favourable geographical conditions and abundant rainfall, Turkey’s agricultural sector is worth $62bn to the economy, and has been steadily rising thanks to investment in irrigation and infrastructure. There are plans to drill new geothermal wells to promote greenhouse production.
The South Easter Anatolian Project (Guneydogu Anadolu Projesi, GAP), a regional sustainable development scheme, has already played a role in the strengthening Turkey’s agricultural sector, has now been tasked with aiding the southern city Sanliurfa in its agricultural development.
GAP is implementing land consolidation projects and irrigation systems to help the city transform itself into a focal point for Turkey’s greenhouse fruit and vegetable industry, and with EU demand on the rise, Turkey is in the perfect position to help meet those demands. A total of 1500 new greenhouse investment opportunities are expected to be available over the next few years.
The adoption of intensive greenhouse technologies is forecasted to create a large amount of employment in the region, with GAP helping both large firms and small stakeholders alike, invest in new agricultural methods. The EU and the US will also help finance these initiatives in a bid to help reduce global food price inflation.
Robin Parker of UK based greenhouse manufacturer, Gabriel Ash is enthusiastic about this approach;
“It is great for the greenhouse industry to see this kind of investment. The greenhouse is at the forefront of modern agricultural methods, and is becoming increasingly vital in ensuring global food supply is stable. It is also proving to be a primary tool as an economic driver in developing countries.”
The Turkish government is aiming for the agricultural sector to increase its contribution to the economy to $150bn in the next ten years, with a long term goal of becoming the world’s 5th largest agricultural producer.