Russia's ban on the import of Turkish tomatoes has been in force for more than a year, despite the recent improvement in relations between Moscow and Ankara, prompting growers in the region of Ghazi Pasha, in the state of Antalya, to cultivate cabbage instead.
The head of Ghazi Pasha's chamber of agriculture said that the chamber recommended producers to grow other kinds of vegetables, noting that cabbage comes in the forefront of vegetables that achieve good returns.
He pointed out that "the soil in the region of Ghazi Pasha is very fertile and suitable for the cultivation of many types of vegetables and fruits. Cabbage becomes productive in between 70 and 80 days and it is possible to grow 10 thousand plants on one dunum (one thousand square metres). The total area cultivated with cabbage amounts to 35 thousand dunums.”
"A large share of the cabbages produced is sold in the Istanbul markets, so we will double the cultivation of this kind of vegetables next year," he said.
Russia imposed a ban on some Turkish agricultural products, including tomatoes, after Turkey downed a Russian fighter that violated its airspace on 24 November 2015.
In mid-March 2017, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced that they would lift the restrictions on some agricultural products from Turkey, but the list of agricultural products still subject to the ban includes tomatoes, grapes, cucumbers, apples, pears and strawberries.
During the year 2015, total exports of these products to Russia were worth 425 million dollars, of which 258.8 million dollars corresponded to tomatoes alone.