Dried mulberry, of which Malatya, Diyarbakir, Elazig, Adiyaman, and Tunceli have an important share in their production, was exported to 44 countries in 2020.
Turkey exported 1325.6 tons of dry mulberry to 44 countries in 2020, and a foreign currency of $5 million 197 thousand was obtained.
According to the information obtained by the AA correspondent, the mulberries produced in Malatya, Diyarbakir, Elazig, Adiyaman, and Tunceli are used in the production of molasses, while the others are dried and offered to the domestic and foreign markets.
According to the data of the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM), 1325 tons of 594 kilograms of dry mulberry were exported to 44 countries last year, and a foreign currency inflow of $5 million 197 thousand was provided to the country.
Holland, which ranks first with 257 tons and 445 kilograms in dry mulberry exports, was followed by the USA with 226 tons of 759 kilograms and Germany with 138 tons of 669 kilograms.
Malatya Commodity Exchange Chairman Ramazan Ozcan told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the city is known as the “capital of the world dried apricots” and that 100 thousand tons of dried apricots are exported to 115 countries annually.
Expressing that they contribute to the country’s economy with various agricultural products produced in the city, Ozcan pointed out the importance of dry mulberry production.
Dry mulberry is an important income area for producers
Emphasizing that Malatya has turned into an important base in terms of marketing and exporting the mulberries grown in its region, Ozcan said:
“Table mulberries produced in Diyarbakir, Elazig, Adiyaman and Tunceli in this region are exported from here. In addition to the table mulberry, we also transform the industrial mulberry that grows in our region into molasses and offer them to the consumer. We export 1325 tons of dry mulberry across Turkey, and in return, we earn approximately ₺37 million for the country’s economy. Our region is the center that realizes a significant part of mulberry production and export. Apricot is our most important product, but mulberry is an important area for our producers to generate a second income.”
Ozcan pointed out that the city is suitable for mulberry cultivation in terms of climate and altitude.
He stated that the price of table dried mulberry in the dried nuts sector in the region varies between ₺20-40 depending on the quality of its kilogram, and added saying, “When we look at the export figures of dry mulberry, the price per kilogram is around $4, and it seems very close to the export figures of dried apricots.”
“We have around 160 thousand mulberry trees in the city”
Provincial Director of Agriculture and Forestry Tahir Macit said that the local people make mulberry, fruit pulp, molasses and use them by drying.
Stating that 3 different types of mulberry, namely white, black and urmu, are grown in the city, Macit continued as follows:
“We have around 160 thousand mulberry trees in the city, of which we have an annual average of 8-9 thousand tons of mulberry production. There are different varieties of white mulberry with seeds, seedless, and must. Black mulberry is used as molasses and dried mulberry. Urmu mulberry is also consumed as a source of healing. Last year, we established sample gardens with a 75% grant for 75 farmers in the form of enclosed gardens. Mulberry is a medicinal, discreet tree that does not require excessive care. Mulberry trees can be grown in idle and terraced lands, in areas where vegetables, fruits, and industrial plants do not grow. The export of dry seedless mulberry is very high.”
Molasses producers have trouble finding mulberries
Tahsin Oner, the owner of the Dutpinari Factory, said that they started their operations in 2005 and they produce 15 tons of molasses per day from the mulberries they buy from Malatya, Adiyaman, and Diyarbakir.
Stating that mulberry trees were always idle in the villages in the past, and now they are not lost anymore, Oner said:
“We buy an average of 600-1000 tons of dry mulberry per year. There are a few other companies in the city other than us. They get the same amount. Now those who have a mulberry tree on the edge of their garden at least pay for their children’s school money. In recent years, the export of mulberry to America has increased considerably, there is a serious demand. We make molasses, the remaining part of the table mulberries, which are called under the sieve. Believe me, we even have difficulties in obtaining these mulberries. We only find 600 tons in our region. We need about 150 tons of duff until the season, but it is difficult to supply.”
Source: AA / Translated by Irem Yildiz