Organic Agriculture in Turkey

Organic agriculture in our country has started with the production of raisins, dried figs, dried apricots and hazelnuts for export with the contracted agriculture system under the leadership of European organic agriculture companies since the mid-1980s. Firstly, organic agriculture activity in Manisa Tekelioğlu Village was established in 1986 in the field determined by the headman's office. The first organic raisin production project was implemented in 1986, followed by the organic fig project in 1987. In the context of legal and institutional arrangements, we can examine the organic agriculture sector in Turkey in 3 different periods.

In the first period (1984-1993), there was no national legal regulation. Our country is just getting acquainted with organic agriculture and production was carried out according to the rules of the importing countries.

In the second period (1994-2002), some developments were experienced at the level of regulation and organic farming activities started to develop and become widespread, especially in the Aegean region.

The third period is the period from 2003 to the present, and the Organic Agriculture Law was published on 03 December 2004, followed by the Regulation on the Principles and Implementation of Organic Agriculture, which entered into force on 10 June 2005.

In the following years, there have been expansions in our product range; Our production and exportation of hard-shelled and dried fruits, frozen fruits and vegetables, fresh fruits and vegetables, spices and pulses has also started. Besides these, production and export of rose water, rose oil, olive oil, cotton and textile products has also gained momentum.

With the increase in organic cotton production, the organic textile sector has become increasingly important, and organic baby textiles, towels, home textiles and bedding have been added to the organic product range in recent years. The demand for organic baby foods, baby clothes, toys and baby cosmetics, especially for 0-12 month old babies Due to the sensitivity of parents who have a problem, it is increasing in the country as well as abroad.

According to TUIK data, in 2011, including the organic agriculture transition period, our total number of products is 225, the total number of farmers is 42,460, the total area of organic farming is 614,618 ha and our total production is 1,659,543 tons. The number of farmers engaged in organic farming in our country is increasing day by day.

WHY INCREASED ORGANIC FOOD PRODUCTION?Consumer concerns about food safety

      – Pesticide

      – Antibiotic

      - Hormones

      – GMOs

Consumers shopping in markets in Turkey are divided into 4 groups Consumers shopping in markets in Turkey are divided into 4 groups:Temelde fiyata duyarlıdır.Pek çok organik ürün %30-40 daha pahalıdır.Populasyonun %15’i sağlığına duyarlı ve bu ürünleri alma isteğinde olan grubu oluşturmaktadır.Hipermarketlerde organik kioskların açılması benimsenmekte,ancak tüketicinin eğitime ihtiyacı olduğuna inanılmaktadır.Pek çok tüketici halen ürünlerinin zaten sağlıklı olduğuna inanmaktadır.Kentlerde yaşayan pek çok aile bazı temel gıdaları doğup büyüdükleri kırsal kesimlerden getirtmektedir.

YearNumber of products (Number)Number of farmers (Number)Number of farmers (%)Area (Hectares)Area (%)Production (Tonnes)Production (%)

Source: Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock
(1) Natural catchment areas are included.

The number of countries to which our exports are directed has reached 32. EU countries such as Germany, France, Italy, England, Denmark and the Netherlands constitute our most important export markets. Our most exported organic products are frozen fruits, raisins and dried apricots. At the same time, it has gained a remarkable place in our exports of organic cotton, organic chickpeas and lentils.

The hazelnut, unique to our Black Sea region, has gained a new export area by being produced with the organic farming method and it maintains this place steadily.

Although our country has an important place in the export of organic products, we also import some organic products. Children's food, pasta, bread, chocolate, canned food, jam, tea varieties and animal products from countries such as the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Belgium and Sweden. imports are made.