The improved relations between Turkey and Russia is expected to enhance exports of citrus fruits from the TRNC.
Turkish Cypriot citrus fruit producers appear optimistic about the production of citrus fruits in 2017, after steps taken by Russia to normalise relations with Turkey by lifting its ban on importing Turkish produce.
According to Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Star Kibris’, in 2016 the TRNC citrus fruit sector lost 35 million TL, after it was affected by the loss of the Russian market. However, following the lifting of restrictions, Russia will import oranges, mandarins, apricots, peaches and nectarines from Turkey.
Commenting on this development, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot union of citrus fruit exporters Gokhan Sarac, said that after the lifting of Russia’s restrictions, the sector will be revived and added that they predict exports to reach 70 million TL for the coming season. He also said that this season, they are expecting to export around 90,000 tons of citrus fruit via Turkey to Russia.
Pointing out the decline of the citrus fruit sector over the last five years, Sarac expressed the view that after the re-opening of the Russian market, the transfer of water from Turkey to the TRNC and the signing of the agreement to import electricity from Turkey, the sector will be revived.
Sarac also noted that besides Turkey, they export citrus fruits to North Iraq, Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, the UK and the Netherlands.