Turkiye: Medicinal and aromatic plant exports increased 5 times

Turkiye’s medicinal and aromatic plant exports, which were approximately $100 million in 2000, increased 5 times to approximately $500 million.

Artvin Coruh University Faculty of Forestry Faculty Member Prof. Dr. Ozgur Eminagaoglu, at the workshop titled “Medical and Aromatic Plants in the Food, Medicine and Cosmetics Sector in the 100th Anniversary of the Republic”, held at Ali Nihat Gokyigit Congress and Culture Center, stated that Artvin Coruh University, a specialized university in the field of medicinal aromatic plants, has undertaken many projects.

Eminagaoglu, who was also the coordinator of the workshop, stated that 9 of the nearly 20 projects submitted to the Presidency Strategy and Budget Directorate in this context received support of ₺44 million.

Emphasizing that 37 thousand 800 of the 378 thousand plant species in the world, approximately 10% of which can be used for medicinal purposes, Eminagaoglu said, “Turkiye uses 500 plants for medicinal and aromatic purposes out of approximately 10 thousand plant species. Although the number of plants used for medicinal and aromatic purposes in Turkiye is significant, considering that 4,900 plants are used in China, 3,000 in India and 2,500 in the USA, it seems that the potential needs to be further developed.”

Eminagaoglu pointed out that Turkiye’s exports of medicinal and aromatic plants, which were approximately $100 million in 2000, increased 5 times to approximately $500 million in the current period, and said, “Turkiye’s highest export was in the coffee, tea and spices group with a share of 63%. While Turkiye ranks 5th in the world in the same group with this export value, it is the largest exporter in the sub-group of thyme and laurel. However, Turkiye, which has very rich resources in terms of plant species and diversity, is likely to get a much larger share of this trade with planned production.”

Explaining that they are working to create plant maps specifically for Artvin, Eminagaoglu said:

“Artvin is the richest province of Turkiye with a total of 2,727 natural plant taxa. 500 taxa, 200 of which are endemic and 300 of which are non-endemic rare species, are at risk. While approximately 800 plant species with medicinal and aromatic properties are distributed in Artvin, 350 of them are currently traded. The whole world is trying to strengthen its economic potential by exporting manufactured products. While we have so many local resources specific to our country, we should have a goal of offering them to the service of humanity and, in turn, contributing to our own economic power. I believe that this workshop will be an important step towards achieving this goal.”

Deputy Governor Resul Yildirim said that the issue of medicinal aromatic plants is outside of traditional agricultural methods and culture.

Stating that producers who grow medicinal aromatic plants are generally directed to this field by scientists, Yildirim said, “Our academicians have an important place in the development of the medicinal aromatic plant cultivation sector. We see that the importance of these plants in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry is increasing day by day. I see these plants as products that are light in burden and high in value.”

On the first day of the workshop, which will end tomorrow, academics from various universities made presentations.

Source: Trthaber / Prepared by Irem Yildiz

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