The value of plant production in Türkiye, rich for its diverse flora has increased nearly tenfold to TL 306.4 billion ($11.02 billion from TL 32 billion between 2002 and 2021 while the exports of ornamental plants have reached the figure of $145 million last year, vice president Cevdet Yılmaz said at an event Saturday.
Speaking at a horticultural expo organized in Kahramanmaraş province, devastated by early February earthquakes, Vice President Yılmaz praised the event, noting: “The fact that an international event like expo is taking place shortly after such a disaster is the best indicator of the region’s recovery and the resilience of its people.”
Yılmaz emphasized that under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erodğan, they have formulated their policies to be environmental, nature and climate-friendly.
“While encircling all 81 provinces with people’s gardens and green corridors, we are also among the rare countries that increase their forest assets. With the Zero Waste movement initiated by Mrs. Emine Erdoğan, we set an example for the world and recycle waste.We reflect our biological richness, including endemic species and all kinds of genetic material, as well as our medical and aromatic plants, in our development,” he said.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of EXPO 2023-Kahramanmaraş, he said that the country’s plant production reached 128.6 million tons in 2022.
The expo with the main theme “Nature-Friendly City” is organized by Onikişubat Municipality under the auspices of the Presidency and is attended by 22 countries including the United States, Netherlands, Spain, Mexico, Germany and Palestine. The area expo covers is planned to remain open for approximately three months.
“The value of plant production has increased from TL 32 billion in the 2002-2021 period to TL 306.4 billion. The production of certified seeds exceeded 1.36 million tons in 2022. Our country, which has over 3,500 plant species in its flora, is an exporting country in cut flowers, indoor and outdoor ornamental plants, flower bulbs, seedlings and algae groups,” Yılmaz explained.
“In our country, which can produce ornamental plants all year round, our export reached $145 million last year. If we have reached this level by growing vegetables in 91% of our greenhouse areas, fruits in 8%, and ornamental plants in 1%, we can say that our country’s true potential has not yet been tapped. We do not consider this level sufficient,” he said.
Yılmaz emphasized that energy efficiency and circular economy policies have become a top priority to preserve nature and its transfer to future generations and thanked Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Ibrahim Yumaklı for his contributions.
Yılmaz further mentioned that they will take much stronger steps, saying: “In our medium-term program, we have made a special emphasis on agriculture and agricultural activities. The agricultural sector is a strategic sector that will never go out of fashion.”
“The geopolitical developments, climate change, pandemics, increasing population, and consumption patterns we are experiencing have elevated the strategic importance of agriculture to higher levels. Hopefully, our country will be among the leading countries in the world in this regard,” he concluded.