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  • Turkey increases pistachio cultivation

    Jul 6th, 2016

    Pistachio nuts are grown in 56 provinces in Turkey. The high returns from the nuts are pleasing growers and over the last few years, the amount of trees being planted has increased in all four corners of the country, but especially in the southeastern Anatolia region.In 2015, 2.9 million million decares were planted with the ‘green gold’, and from this area 144,000 tonnes of nuts were harvested. According to studies, there are more than 52 million pistachio trees across the country. More than 40 million of these trees are fruit bearing.In the last five years, the amount of trees planted has increased by 26%, fruit bearing trees increased by 33% and the total number of trees increased by 25%. So much so that in the last 5 years the number of trees in Turkey, increased from 41.28 million to 52.23, while the area planted increased from 2.3 million decares to 2.9 million decares.

    The highest area of pistachio trees is in Gaziantep, which also has the highest yield of the nuts. Last year 1.2 million decares were planted, of which 16.41 million trees were fruit bearing and a yield of 53,109 tonnes was harvested, making Gaziantep the most pistachio nut producing city. Gaziantep was followed by Sanliurfa with 47,848 tonnes and Adiyaman with 16,363 tonnes.Manager of the province’s Food, Agriculture and Livestock department, Mehmet Karayilan said that everyone was happy with the positive developments in pistachio growing over the last five years, especially the growers.This year is what is considered an ‘off year’ explains Karayilan, but the yield this year is looking promising and compared to last year, it is expected to be even higher.‘’We compete with the USA and Iran. When we make a comparison with our competitors, these countries are getting a much higher yield per unit area. For example, while we get 100 kilograms of dry red shelled product from 1 decare, the USA gets 300 kilograms. So our next goal is to get more efficiency per unit area. We will try to correct the wrong practices of the producers. We are giving producers incentives to improve irrigation and pruning."Gaziantep produces 38% of Turkey’s pistachios and most of these are sent for processing.