White grapes harvested in Arapgir district of Malatya at the beginning of October are preserved in the natural warehouses of the farmers and offered to the market with the freshness of the first day.
The farmers who store grapes, one of the most important sources of income in Arapgir district, in the basements of their houses after harvest or hang them on sticks placed in natural warehouses, sell their products during the winter months.
The Provincial Director of Agriculture and Forestry Tahir Macit told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the city is known for its apricots in the world, but fruit cultivation has developed in the city.
Pointing out that viniculture is progressing in Arapgir, Dogansehir and Yesilyurt districts and that distinctive grape varieties are grown there, Macit said, “Arapgir is a district that stands out with different grape varieties. Arapgir Kohnu grapes are registered with a geographical indication. There are different varieties other than the Kohnu grape. There are over 100 different grape varieties in the city. In addition to these early, table, grape and dried grape varieties, there are grapes that are placed in cold stores and eaten in the spring due to their durability.”
“Farmers are currently marketing the grape they kept waiting”
Stating that producers store grapes in different ways, Macit said, “In the past, grapes were hung on shelves in the storages of houses. Recently, grapes placed in boxes are kept until spring. Farmers are currently marketing the grape they are keeping. Arapgir white grape has no recognition outside of neighboring provinces and metropolitan cities. There is approximately 12 thousand tons of grape production in the district. Manufacturers store in the traditional way. During the winter months, grapes come to our country from the southern hemisphere, but they are very expensive.”
One package of grapes is ₺40
Macit pointed out that the grapes produced by Arapgir farmers sell some of the grapes during the harvest period and some of them during the winter months, he added saying, “Arapgir grape is delicious compared to grapes from abroad in winter, it suits our taste buds and its price is lower. Manufacturers give it to wholesalers in packages, and they send it to tradesmen in metropolitan cities. Our farmers sell 5-5.5 kilograms of grape package for ₺40, a cheap price for this season. The grape preserves its flavor during the harvest season.”
There is no market problem
The head of Arapgir Chamber of Agriculture, Huseyin Safak, stated that Arapgir Kohnu grapes do not remain in the hands of the producer and sales of white grapes continue.
Stating that the grape is a sensitive fruit, its harvesting and storage is done carefully, Safak continued as follows:
“White grape preserves its freshness until May. Grapes are grown in half of the districts in the district. Farmers harvest carefully, the damaged grape grains are selected one by one from the bunches. Grapes brought from the vineyard are packed for sale in winter. It is kept in closed areas that are not exposed to sunlight, do not have air circulation and the temperature does not drop to minus. We have no marketing problems. There is demand from cities such as Izmir, Ankara, and Istanbul. Once they taste it, they want it all the time. Our grapes are delicious and have a very beautiful aroma.”
Edip Mayda, 52, who works in viticulture in Duzce District, stated that his grandfather was also engaged in viticulture, started the grape harvest in October, and bought about 40 tons of products from 40 decares.
Mayda said, “We sell as much as there is demand, but we don’t have much grape left, we leave some grapes for ourselves to eat.”
Source: AA / Translated by Irem Yildiz