Agriculture in Balıkesir
Center of Agriculture: Balıkesir
Thanks to its geographical structure and climate conditions, Balıkesir is a province of agriculture with its province-wide prevalent fertile lands. Balıkesir also, thanks to its strategic location, has the opportunity of reaching the big markets with ease. When we take a glance at the distribution of the investments within the province, we see that agriculture and animal husbandry is the dominant sector in terms of economic magnitude, with a percentage of 64%.
Farm lands constitute the biggest share in provinces agricultural lands with a size of 300.000 hectares, which is followed by olive groves with 82.000 hectares. 7 dams and 30 ponds constantly and solely are at the service of agricultural activities.
680.000 hectares of forest lands, 422.000 hectares of agricultural lands, 263.000 hectares of non-agricultural lands, 81.000 hectares of grass lands and forages constitute Balıkesir’s 1.445.000 hectares of total provincial lands.
A wide-ranging variety of fruits and vegetables are produced in Balıkesir, which directly meets the demands and needs of the metropolises. The greatest share in fruit production consists of olives and nuts with a percentage of 55%. Especially Ayvalık, Gömeç, Burhaniye, Edremit, Erdek and Bandırma are the most important olive and olive oil production centres of Turkey.
Fair climate conditions, strong irrigation network, and long harvest seasons in Balıkesir create a great advantage for seed growing. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, onions, cresses, roquettes, parsleys, and melons being in particular; over 90 different standard vegetable seeds production take place in the province.
Drying plants, which are used for improving marketing possibilities of medicinal aromatic plants by increasing their shelf lives, stand out as an important investment opportunity. Edremit, Havran, İvrindi, Dursunbey, Bigadiç, Sındırgı, and Marmara Adası are the prominent counties in medicinal aromatic plants production.
Along with agriculture and animal husbandry, Balıkesir also is developed in forestry field. Province’s forest lands cover 680.000 hectares of area. In the forests there are black pines, Turkish pines, beeches, hornbeams, oaks, willows, tamarisks and plane trees.
With its strong ornamental plant industry, Balıkesir increases its variety of activities in agriculture. As one of the dynamic provinces in flower bulb production sector, Balıkesir has the 2nd biggest production figures in Turkey.
As for greenhouse cultivation activities, Balıkesir produces lettuces, head lettuces, tomatoes, beans and fresh onions. Among these activities, especially those which are made within high, plastic tunnels stand out. Thanks to the fact that heat and flow rates of the geothermal water resources of Balıkesir are suitable for greenhouse cultivation activities; investments in this sector already shifted to this direction. Balıkesir’s rich geothermal resources reduce the heating costs, thus increase the attraction of the investment environment even more.
Balıkesir is among the leading provinces in animal products production. The province is rather rich in terms of animal feed, which is an important cost item in livestock fattening sector: 1.750.000 tons of animal feed is produced in Balıkesir per year.
3.7% of Turkey’s bovine animals are located in Balıkesir, which makes up a number above 500.000 while the biggest share in it consists of cattle. The province also has 2.5% of Turkey’s sheep and goats, 180.000 being merino sheep while 614.000 are local sheep, along with 207.000 hair goats. With these numbers, the province hosts more than 1.000.000 small cattle.
Poultry farming is an important activity in Balıkesir. 12% of the broilers produced in Turkey are produced in the province. Balıkesir is 3rd biggest in broiler production in Turkey, while most prominent white meat production companies choose Balıkesir for their investments. Balıkesir’s proximity to the big consumption centres directly influences the development of poultry activities in the province. Being 3rd biggest layer hen producer in Turkey, Balıkesir hosts 7% of the layer hens in Turkey.
Beekeeping also is very intensely made in Balıkesir; causing development in production of apiculture side-products such as beeswax, pollen, propolis, and royal jelly.
Having coasts both on Marmara and Aegean Seas, Balıkesir also is very rich in terms of fisheries.
Turkey is among the 6 biggest olive oil exporters in the world, while Balıkesir has a great share in this with its over 10 million olive trees. Along with olive oil and neroli oil, fruit and vegetable processing, flour and animal feed factories, contribute greatly to Balıkesir’s share in Turkey’s exports.