Fruit and vegetable exports from southern Antalya city increased by 12 percent to $533 million last year according to the Antalya Exporters Union.
Ahmet Dalli, Antalya Food, Agriculture and Livestock director, said, "in order to provide safe products to consumers and prevent residues in agricultural products the Ministry has also performed studies with rules and regulations about pesticides safety usage and environmental protection". He went on to say, "The Ministry has made the producers to record every chemical that they use during production period.".
Dalli emphasized that the Ministry is focused on keeping agricultural production without damaging to human and animal health, saving natural resources, ensuring traceability, sustainability and food security. Due to Antalya being a main production region, Antalya's farmers received as much as $40 million of state fund in 2012.
Antalya region exports fresh fruits and vegetables with an emphasis on tomatoes and citrus to many countries throughout the year. Destination markets include Russia, Germany and Ukraine. Recently, neighbour Iraq is becoming one of the largest export destinations for Antalya's production.
Due to favorable geographic conditions and abundant rainfall, Turkey's agricultural sector contributed $62 billion to the economy in 2012, after growing steadily over the past three years on the back of significant government investment in major irrigation and infrastructure projects. According to United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Turkey is ranked the 11th in fresh fruit production and has 2.2 percent share in world production.