DATE：OCT, 15, 2019 / MEDIA：Hortidaily
An entrepreneur Kadir Cinar was exploring alternative products to grow after the increase in greenhouse production costs in many of the products grown in the Antalya area. Visiting tropical fruit greenhouses in Mersin and Gazipasa district of Antalya, the grower came up with the idea that it is also possible to grow tropical fruits in Demre district of Antalya. Starting with a 0.2-hectare greenhouse, the grower was able to harvest first products 13 months later.
Grower Kadir Cinar: “Traditional greenhouse products in Turkey such as tomato, green pepper, and cucumber have recently seen a major spike in production costs. Consequently, the prices have also increased and our growers have started experiencing problems in finding buyers for their products at these higher prices. That’s why I have started exploring alternative products to set an example for the growers in the area. After extensive research and visits, I have identified dragonfruit as a suitable product to grow in Demre. In the first year of production, I have managed to receive 15 to 20 products from 4 seedlings. The second year, I expect to receive 40 to 60 products from 4 seedlings. Currently, I sell one dragonfruit for 2.8 USD. My expectation is around 10.000 – 12.000 USD of revenue from 1.000 square meters in the second year of production.
As an agricultural engineer, I’m delighted to be able to introduce a new product to the growers in our area. Our growers need to shift their production to less traditional products which are easier to sell in the market. Dragonfruit is a good example of these products. I have started to make sale agreements even before the harvest. Its production costs are also much lower compared to traditional agricultural products grown here. Just the cost of chemicals is 65 % less because the fruit is very much resistant to the majority of diseases. The climate conditions in Demre also contribute to the quality of the fruit as the humidity in Demre improves its quality and taste. The only additional requirement in production is the need to add shading to the plastic greenhouse covers in summer as extremely hot temperatures may burn the leaves of the plant.”