Heavy flood in Turkey’s south damage fresh vegetable production

Heavy flood in Turkey’s south damage fresh vegetable production

MERSİN - Doğan News Agency
Heavy flood in Turkey’s south damage fresh vegetable production

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Heavy rain and flood that hit the southern province of Mersin in the last days of 2016 have put hectares of agricultural greenhouses under water, triggering price hike expectations in fresh vegetables. 

The head of the Mersin Agriculture Chamber, Cengiz Gökçel, said that hectares of agricultural greenhouses were strained under water, asking for support and help from authorities to cover the losses. 

“Our farmers in the region have been trying to save their products with their own efforts. Our province has been of great importance in fresh fruit production. For instance, around 70 percent of Turkey’s production is made in Mersin, which is now devastated as a result of the terrible disaster,” he said, adding that local producers have already faced big problems after a diplomatic crisis with Russia, which was once Turkey’s largest fresh fruit and vegetable market. 

“A majority of our producers have been left indebted to banks. We need help and support to be able to overcome our losses and keep up with our production,” Gökçel added. 

He stressed that agricultural supply had also suffered a dramatic contraction after the heavy flooding. 

“We cannot supply our market now. Our farmers cannot even harvest their yields, which are soaked in water now. The prices have started to climb up. If a helping hand is not offered to our farmers, the prices will see a further increase,” he said. 

A pepper producer in Mersin also has said that all his greenhouses were left under water. 

“We want our debts to be acquitted. We must dispose all our products and start replanting… As of now, my loss is over 500,000 Turkish Liras ($138,000),” he added.