Hazelnut harvest season starts in Black Sea Region

Producers in the Black Sea Region have officially commenced the harvest season for hazelnuts, which constitute one of the country’s most significant export items.

According to the data by the Black Sea Hazelnut and Products Exporters’ Association, during the 2022-2023 hazelnut export season, Turkiye earned over $1.7 billion by selling more than 283,000 tons of hazelnuts.

Hazelnuts, which are also one of the most important sources of income for the producers in the region, started to be collected in the agricultural areas along the coastal regions.

Hundreds of workers plucked hazelnuts from the branches, placing them into baskets, and then transferring them into sacks. The sacked hazelnuts are loaded onto shoulders and carried to the threshing area. The hazelnuts spilled from the sacks are left to dry under the sun at the threshing area.

Farmers also noted that the harvest will start on Aug. 17 in the central regions and on Aug. 25 in the higher areas.

Meeting with the farmers in the province of Ordu, Arslan Soydan, a senior official from the Turkish Agricultural Chambers Union (TZOB), stressed the importance of adhering to the hazelnut harvest dates.

“The yield, quality, and taste of hazelnuts will differ based on the harvest date. Early harvesting will undoubtedly result in losses in yield, harvest, and quality. This will also have negative economic effect,” Soydan stated.

Noting that the number of farmers who comply with the harvest dates increases each year, Soydan pointed out that due to the high cost of hazelnut production, it is essential to maximize the yield.

“To reduce our costs, we need to wait for the hazelnuts to ripen, even letting them fall to the ground before picking,” he explained.

Stating that hazelnut provides the country with a foreign currency inflow of nearly $2.5 billion every year, Soydan stated that the products also carry cultural significance for the people of the Black Sea Region.

“Every year in August, we start the hazelnut harvest. Hazelnut is such a product that, whether you are anywhere in the world or in Turkiye, regardless of your position, status, or economic situation, whether you produce 300 kilos, 500 kilos, 5 tons, or 10 tons of hazelnuts from this land, it draws everyone to this place. So, hazelnuts essentially bring everyone together with their families,relatives, and the land. In that sense, hazelnuts are both our spiritual product and our ‘green gold’ in economic terms. It’s a national product for us. That’s why we value and cherish it,” he said.


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