Opposition questions Turkey’s falling olive output

According to news portal Gercek Gundem on Wednesday, 50 questions were directed at Food, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Minister Faruk Celik on the cultivation of olives and the production of olive oil.

Akın emphasized that a recent report shows although the number of olive trees is rapidly increasing, the production of olives has fallen since 2000. “In our country, olives are grown on nearly 168 million trees on an area of 814,000 hectares, and 320,000 families make their living from growing olives. … According to the National Olive and Olive Oil Council [UZZK], the yield per tree will be 7.6 kilograms in the 2015-2016 production season. Since 2000, the number of olive trees has grown rapidly but a similar increase hasn’t been observed in olive and olive oil production,” Akın stated.

Noting that Balıkesir is one of the most prominent provinces in olive production Akın added: “Olive production is very important for the people of Balıkesir. If problems concerning the cultivation of olives are solved and the production rate is increased, Balıkesir could have a chance of competing in foreign markets. The olive sector, with a high added-value, could greatly contribute to Turkey’s economy.

Akın also filed a parliamentary motion to identify the problems related to olive production and to find solutions to increase it.

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