Industrial cannabis cultivation area rises fivefold

ANKARA 

The cannabis cultivation area in Turkey has increased fivefold over previous one year, from 200 decares (49.42 acres or 200,000 square meters) in 2018, to 1,000 decares (247.11 acres or one million sq mt) in the current year, according to the data released by Turkey’s Agriculture and Forestry Ministry.

The increase in the cannabis farming area was recorded after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last year authorized controlled seeding of cannabis in 19 Turkish cities, to make it available for the medicinal and the industrial usages.

The cannabis products are used in automation, construction, textiles, cosmetics, biodiesel, food, medicine, energy, textile and plastic industry; besides they play role in the manufacturing of paper as well.

Since 1989, Turkey had succeeded to decrease the cannabis cultivation manifold. In 1989, the area under cannabis cultivation was 42,000 decares (1,038 acres or 42 million sq mt), which came down drastically to 5,360 decares (132 acres or 5.3million sq mt) in a decade ending in 1999.

According to the date complied by Anadolu Agency from various sources, the area of cultivation was further reduced, to just 66 decares (16.31 acres or 66,000 sq mt) in 2009.

The idea behind limiting seeding of cannabis since 1990, was to avoid and control its seepage to the production of marijuana. But over the years, its industrial usage and thus demand has increased manifold.

Turkey is now aiming to produce cannabis with indigenous seeds, as many textile and automation companies require it in their manufacturing processes, said Ayse Aysin Isikgece, the general manager of Turkey’s General Directorate of Agricultural Enterprises.

Head of the Cannabis Institute at the Center for Eurasian Strategic Studies, Erdem Ulas, estimates that Turkey has potential to earn $100 billion, from controlled cannabis production by 2030.

He added that several countries including France, the Netherlands, Canada, and the U.S., are also producing the industrial cannabis. They are expecting to earn $71 billion from cannabis production by 2025.

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