Medicinal and aromatic plant production and exports are increasing in Turkey

Mehmet Hasdemir, General Manager of Plant Production and Plant Health of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, said that Turkey has become one of the most important exporting countries of the world in thyme, laurel and poppy.

Hasdemir, in Konya, where he came to attend the Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Clustering Workshop, said that the production of medicinal and aromatic plants in Turkey has increased significantly in the last 20 years, and they predict that it will increase rapidly from now on.

Stating that medicinal and aromatic plants are important for both the country’s economy and human health, Hasdemir said, “Man has discovered and used the therapeutic power of plants for thousands of years. The increase in chemicals, synthetic and semi-synthetic products with the 19th century reduced the use of these plants proportionally, but the recent emergence of the side effects of chemicals and the pandemic have further increased the interest of humanity in medicinal plants.”

“Recently, the production of medicinal plants has increased approximately 6 times”

Emphasizing that the demand for medicinal and aromatic plants is increasing day by day, Hasdemir said, “The production of medicinal plants has increased approximately 6 times recently, especially in the last 20 years. In other words, in the last 20 years, medicinal and aromatic plants have been produced in Turkey from 80 thousand tons to 470 thousand tons. Again, an export of over $400 million has emerged. We see that both our people’s demand for medicinal plants is increasing and our farmers are making an effort to produce these plants.”

Hasdemir stated that they started the “Clustering of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants” project, which aims to develop the production of medicinal and aromatic plants and to process them and put them on the market as finished and semi-finished products.

The number of endemic plants in Turkey is more than the whole of continental Europe

Stating that they brought together farmers, industrialists and academics who are experts in their fields, Hasdemir said, “We want to increase the added value of our farmers and improve their welfare level, with a model that includes all the stakeholders of the sector. Medicinal aromatic plants can grow in marginal lands, rugged mountain lands, and small areas that are not suitable for cultivated agriculture. We want to create additional added value for our farmers by improving the production of these products.”

Stating that hundreds of plants in Turkey are presented as a great gift to humanity, Hasdemir said:

“There are 3,649 endemic plant species in Turkey. This figure is even higher than the whole of continental Europe. Until now, we have always been proud of our biological wealth, but by the order of our Minister, we want to transform our biological wealth into economic wealth in a balance between protecting and using these plants. Approximately 1000 of our 3,649 endemic plant species are used for medicinal and aromatic purposes in Turkey and around the world. Medicinal aromatic plants have medicinal uses as well as cosmetic uses. It is also used as a dye plant. These sectors are the fastest growing sectors in the world.”

Turkey is the world’s largest thyme producing country

Hasdemir emphasized that they aim to bring Turkey to the place it deserves with its current potential and said:

“Turkey is the country that produces the most thyme in the world. Turkey is one of the world’s largest laurel exporters, one of the world’s largest poppy-producing and exporting countries. In this sense, we have a serious advantage. We also have superiority in anise, cumin, coriander and black cumin. We have prepared investor guides about these plants. Our young people and investors who are interested in these fields will ask, ‘I want to make this investment, but how can I do it, on which land should I grow it, to whom in the world can I sell it, who buys it, who are my competitors?’ We want to shed light on our investors with the guides they will find answers to.”

Source: Trthaber / Translated by Irem Yildiz

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