An overview on fig production and research and development in Turkey
For the last 30 years there are no considerable changes on fig planted areas, the number of fig trees and the amount of fig production in Turkey. In contrast, fig exportation and profit from fig increased significantly. The aim of this study is to define the current situation and the problems of fig production in Turkey and also to suggest possible solutions. Fig cultivation is so related to the climate conditions thus seventy percent of the world's fig production is grown in the countries of the Mediterranean coast. Turkey, being one of the most important gene centers of fig fruit, ranks first in the production of both fresh and dry figs in the world. Due to the relationship between consuming natural and functional foods and healthy life understood more, the demand on fig increased accordingly. Turkish fig production is made almost no use of pesticides and fertilizers except for very minor exceptions and certificated organic fig growing has reached up to 30%. However here are some threats that affect fig production in Turkey;
Aging of fig producers as a result of decrease of young people in rural areas,
With the increase in irrigation potentiality, planting other fruit crops such as pomegranate, plum and peach into fig production areas,
Making production in inclined and arid areas that causes a decrease in product quality,
The establishment of geothermal energy plants in fig production areas,
Increasing pest and disease,
Research facilities and studies in Turkey are carried out by universities and institutes. 21 researchers carry out 27 projects in Fig Research Institute, legally authorized by General Directorate of Agricultural Research and Policies. Besides that, 6 researchers conduct 5 projects with Universities. Fig Research Institute has Breeding, Growing Techniques, Plant Health Management, Food Technology and Agricultural Economy departments.