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Current Position:Home » News » Agri & Animal Products » Topic

Turkish asparagus surface is increasing

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2017-03-24  Views: 1
Core Tip: The Nomad Food & Agricultural Company is preparing to become a long- season asparagus supplier for Europe with the brand “Saricakaya Asparagus Valley”.
The Nomad Food & Agricultural Company is preparing to become a long- season asparagus supplier for Europe with the brand “Saricakaya Asparagus Valley”. The company was the first to produce local asparagus on a large scale and only completed its introduction to the national retail and wholesale chains during the last five years. It is now looking for European partners from inside the asparagus industry to collaborate to further increase its production.

The introduction of asparagus to Turkish households was made easier by the fact that wild asparagus varieties have been well known in Turkish territories for centuries and accepted as a short-season delicacy, marking the spring -and as a powerful medicinal herb.

As the largest asparagus producer in Turkey, Nomad turned out 122 tons of asparagus in 2016 and realised its very first export to the Netherlands. “We carry out production on 51 hectares, along with our crown nurseries. A total of 140 tons of asparagus was produced in Turkey in 2016, 122 tons of which belongs to Nomad. Our fully yielding fields are giving an average of 9 tons of asparagus per hectare and our target for 2017 is to step up our production to 180 tons”, says the founder of Nomad and a current partner, Arman Badur.

Founded in Istanbul in 2003, Nomad Tarim picked its first produce in 2008. The great majority of their asparagus is widely produced in the town of Saricakaya, Eskisehir. Saricakaya, a confined valley serving just like a micro-climate, was introduced to asparagus, thanks to Nomad.

The production is undertaken in accordance with ITU and GlobalG.A.P standards. The certifications of Saricakaya Asparagus Valley are audited regularly by ECAS Certification and Auditing Ltd. Co. In 2017, steps were taken regarding the SEDEX certification which certifies the conformity of social standards, as a supplementary to GlobalG.A.P. The production is carried out under the supervision of the staff, composed of specialised agricultural engineers. All production undergoes a residue analysis, without exception.

"Asparagus is grown using different techniques in Western Europe, tropical & subtropical regions, deserts and the regions with a moderate climate, like Turkey. We are able to prolong the season by combining different growing techniques in many regions with different altitudes. It’s not possible to get any produce until April in Europe, except for Spain and Southern Italy. But, Turkey has a serious yield and export capacity in these periods. The prices in Europe allow for that, so the produce becomes profitable. It is possible to have good prices in the domestic market after April. Our fresh season starts in February and lasts to the end of September.”

Each year, Nomad produces early-grown asparagus in the earliest period by covering the crop with tunnels for some part of its production in the region of Saricakaya. Completing its preparations within a year and covering 5 hectares of fields, Nomad is able to harvest the earliest asparagus spears as soon as February.

Asparagus growing has quite a large export potential. Reminding us that they have the same climatic and logistic conditions as Greece, Badur said, “We have advantages over Greece in terms of labour costs. We can easily compete with Greece in the European market, using also the advantage of having a rapidly developing and enthusiastic local market. In addition, we now receive orders from Russia and some Arabic countries. We have the advantage of being able to reach out to these regions with fresh produce, much faster than South American produce can.”

Nomad realized its very first export to the Netherlands in 2016. It is targeted to increase last year's 4 tons of export by up to 20 tons this year. The company also plans to ship the produce in 2017 to Holland again, but also to Germany, Qatar, Russia and UAE. So, the production will be increased. “We intend to have stepped up our 51 hectares of production to 100 hectares by 2020 and collaborate with at least with 20 independent growers,” Badur concluded.
keywords: asparagus
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