Malatya Apricot Harvest Yet to Begin and Hit the Shelves

Ramazan Özcan, President of Malatya Commodity Exchange, told AA correspondent that apricots are crucial for the economy of the city, which suffered significant damage in earthquakes centered in Kahramanmaraş last year on February 6th.

Özcan emphasized that apricot exports from the city reach all corners of the world, stating, “Apricots bring in over $500 million in annual revenue to Malatya. Malatya apricot holds a prestigious position as a product with a geographical indication certificate from the EU. Despite the earthquake, agricultural production continues in Malatya. We experienced a significant loss of labor force and migration after the earthquake. Nevertheless, even in February 2023, we managed to export over 5 thousand tons.”

Pointing out that apricots are grown in many regions of the country, Özcan explained, “As you know, the products from these regions have low sugar content and are favored by fruit juice factories. Malatya apricot, both fresh and dried, has proven itself worldwide and is eagerly awaited by consumer masses. Due to seasonal changes and climate variations, there may be delays or early harvests. The Malatya apricot has yet to be harvested and hit the shelves. The product currently sold on shelves and labeled as ‘Malatya apricot’ has no connection to Malatya apricot.”

Özcan noted that the apricot harvest is just a few days away, saying, “There is very little time left for the crop to meet the taste of consumers and for the export of fresh apricots to begin. As of July 1st, both fresh apricot exports will start and we will reach consumer masses eagerly awaiting to taste and consume Malatya apricots within the country. Although it varies by a few days each year, Malatya apricots make their way to the markets in late June to early July. We have not yet begun a harvest that can reach consumers. We recently harvested early apricots. We have not yet started the harvest of apricots that consumers are familiar with and accustomed to.”

Invitation to the Harvest Özcan stressed the need for significant labor during the apricot harvest, stating, “We experienced a significant loss of human labor after the earthquake, and now we are trying to recover from that. We can host everyone in Malatya; we invite everyone to Malatya during the harvest season. We will both establish partnerships and host friends who help us during the harvest.”

source: prepared by Melisa Beğiç

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