Rabobank: Tapping into potential growth of the Turkish Greenhouse Sector
As one of the world’s largest greenhouse sectors, and with Europe’s highest per capita consumption of vegetables, Turkey is in a good position to capture further growth in future. According to a new report from Rabobank - The Greenhouse Sector in Turkey - expansion is mainly being driven by a rapidly developing domestic market and the country’s advantageous geographical position for exports, between the emerging markets of Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Moreover, there is huge potential for productivity improvements through modernisation of farming practices. To accelerate modernisation of the sector there is work to do and money is not enough to succeed. Knowledge on greenhouse cultivation is the most crucial foundation to raising productivity and quality, but still requires ample attention.
“The Turkish greenhouse sector has been thriving for decades already, thanks to its favourable production circumstances and its massive domestic market”, states Rabobank analyst, Cindy van Rijswick. “Further interest in the sector will be fuelled by the ample potential for productivity improvements and the application of modern production systems”.
With more than 90 percent of Turkish greenhouse production consumed domestically, production is reflective of domestic consumption patterns. Despite foreign demand rising quickly since the turn of the century, the small-scale structure of Turkey’s greenhouse sector remains a major hurdle to its development. Applying more technology and using higher quality inputs in modern greenhouses could lead to yield improvements of between 30 and 40 percent, depending on crop type. The expanding domestic market, the proximity of export destinations and the opportunities to improve productivity will continue to make Turkey an attractive proposition for investors and suppliers of inputs, materials and knowledge.
A second hurdle to development of the Turkish greenhouse sector is the structure of its current supply chain. The marketing of produce is regulated by the Turkish government and has to go through acknowledged wholesale markets with products mostly sold to registered brokers, on whom many producers are dependent for farm inputs and credit exchange. The result is a fee-driven trade with limited attention to quality and food safety issues. This has limited foreign export potential several times in the last few years as Turkish vegetables have failed to pass customs because of high pesticide residue levels.
Turkey’s greenhouse sector has the potential to transform. The key to yield and quality improvement is knowledge, specifically on modern greenhouse management. For those investors who can bring together skilled and knowledgeable greenhouse staff, consultancy businesses and input suppliers with strong track records in agronomic advice, Turkey represents a lucrative market.
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