Ornamental plants: Not a luxury

The ornamental plant industry is growing fast throughout the world with great business potential, and it is also expanding rapidly in Turkey.

The ornamental plant industry is extensive in scope and production diversity, with plants produced, multiplied and grown for aesthetic and business purposes through numerous methods. As important as the food industry is today, the ornamental plants and products industry has a positive effect on human psychology and plays a crucial role in raising healthy generations. Europe is the lead grower and exporter of ornamental plants. Asia-Pacific countries are at the top in terms of the area set aside for ornamental plants. The Netherlands accounts for the highest share in production, followed by Colombia, Belgium, Germany and Italy. Cut flowers and potted ornamental plants rank in first place in industrial production based on areas of activity.

Turkey, a plant heaven

Due to its geographical location and the emphasis placed on agriculture, Turkey enjoys plenty of variety in plant families, species and types. The country takes the lead in rare endemic species, and many species of economically important trees, pleasant-smelling plants used in medicine, and industrial and ornamental plants grow there. The Anatolia region is the source of many ornamental plants obtained as a result of rehabilitation efforts. Thus, Turkey boasts key advantages in the ornamental plants and products industry, thanks to its ecology and natural assets, suitable climatic and geographical conditions, as well as proximity to markets and its workforce.

Targets are high, but reasonable

Outdoor plants and cut flowers stand out as the main two categories in Turkey’s sectoral exports. The UK is the foremost market for the Turkish ornamental plants and products industry, and foreign trade volume is expanding each year in paralel with the swift rise in production areas since 2009, and with increasingly greater emphasis on production conditions and quality. The industry is almost certain to eclipse its accomplishments even more in time, considering the fact that the producers are now making better use of plant diversity, the size and number of companies is expanding, the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Husbandry is providing subsidies, and producers and exporters operate in harmony. Two main objectives have been set for the Turkish ornamental plants and products industry exports. Export goals are $100 million and $500 million for 2016 and 2023, respectively. With these objectives in mind, it is obvious that Turkey is determined to keep on working to boost its current achievements. In 2015, the industry’s exports totalled $77.6 million, and a 20 per cent rise is aimed for year-on-year in 2016. The potential of the industry makes these figures quite attainable. According to the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly February 2016 data, exports from the Turkish ornamental plants and products industry rose by 24.3 per cent year-on-year. The rise in exports is proof that Turkey is working to reach the $500 million export objective by 2023 with increased support for the industry.

Turkish companies are active in various industries, especially in the construction industry in countries such as Turkmenistan, Iraq, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan, which in turn helps ornamental plant exports to these countries as well. This year’s EXPO 2016 in Antalya involves the ornamental plants and products industry, creating a great boost for the sector to open up to foreign markets. Landscaping is gaining prominence in Turkey in line with the growing importance attached to nature throughout the globe. As a result of these developments, interest in the industry is expected to increase continuously with objectives seemingly within easy reach.