Co-Minister of the Walnut Producers Association (CÜD), Ömer Ergüder, gave information about what should be considered for those who want to invest in walnuts. While the importance of healthy living and conscious nutrition increases with the pandemic, the interest in individual agriculture and production draws attention. Increasing domestic production, walnut cultivation has become one of the most sought-after agricultural investments in recent years.
Turkey, the homeland of walnuts, is currently in the top three in the world in walnut consumption. However, despite this, only one third of the walnuts consumed in Turkey can be produced at the moment. But what should those who want to grow walnuts pay attention to? What is the most important element in walnut production? Which regions are suitable for planting walnut trees? How much investment is required? The answers to all these questions were answered by CÜD Co-chair Ömer Ergüder, which was established in 2020 with the slogan 'Turkey's Production is Native to Walnuts, the Delicious Walnut'.
Sharing five important tips for investors who are considering investing in agriculture, especially walnuts, and for those who want to enter the sector, Ergüder said that only a single walnut tree begins to produce full fruit almost 8-12 years after it meets the soil. Ergüder also stated that a walnut tree can withstand thirst for a long time despite its loss of yield, adding, “However, if it stays in water for 48 hours, its life can end. For this reason, ground water has a very important place in walnut cultivation. According to Ergüder, who has been a walnut producer for about 10 years; Here are the things that those who want to start walnut production should pay attention to:
“A walnut tree needs 15 cubic meters of water.
The first and most important question that investors planning to start growing walnuts should ask themselves is "Do I have enough water?" should be. A walnut tree, contrary to known misconceptions, seriously needs water to reach full efficiency. A single walnut tree in a season; When soil structure and precipitation conditions are taken into account, it needs approximately 15 cubic meters of water. Thanks to the irrigation infrastructures suitable for the soil structure, the irrigation regime and the potential of the trees rise even higher.
Species suitable for the climate of the region to be planted should be selected.
Soil depth and groundwater problems should not exist. On the other hand, considering the climatic conditions of the region to be planted; It is necessary to choose species that are suitable for the climate and will not be affected by early or late frosts. Walnut is a fruit that can be grown in every region of Turkey. Studies show that the yield at harvest has a direct relationship with the cooling period in the winter period. For this reason, any region where there is cold water in winter and not affected by early and late frosts in summer is suitable for investing in walnuts. However, most of the investments in recent years; It concentrated in Thrace, Marmara, Aegean, Central Anatolia and a little in South East Anatolia.
As the slope of the land increases, the need for manpower increases
The slope of the land is another matter of great importance. As the slope increases, mechanization investments decrease and the need for manpower increases. This process causes a decrease in the efficiency of the investment in the long run. In addition, the person who will grow walnuts has to ask himself the following question: 'Will I do this job as a hobby or industrially?' If it is viewed as a hobby; It is necessary to set the target of maximum area where one can really work and sensitive care can be made. Unfortunately, the unattended part of a garden that requires serious care and effort during the season can always bring down the motivation and the overall yield average of the garden. However, if the issue is viewed industrially, a minimum of 250 decares of area is required for the job. As the area grows and the team gets stronger, according to the power of the investor, the costs can decrease further with the economies of scale.
Investment amount should be calculated according to current costs
Contrary to the common mistakes in a walnut investment, the work does not end when the saplings are planted, on the contrary, the work has only just begun. Parallel to garden management, a walnut tree reaches its maximum yield between 8-12 years. In this process, the needs can be met by the person. The starting point of an efficient walnut garden can be considered as making maximum use of a single tractor. According to our experience, a garden of approximately 250 decares can be managed with one tractor. The unit cost of the land infrastructure, irrigation system and mechanization investments can only reach an efficient point at this scale and above. Although it is impossible to generalize about the amount of investment, it is useful to calculate according to current costs. Because most of the business plans and income / expense statements prepared before the investment are very different from the ones that come before us.
Walnuts must be collected and disposed of within 48 hours of falling on the ground.
The most important issue during the harvest period is to be fast. The walnut, which completes the maturation process, first cracks its green shell and then falls. In order to protect the crop from diseases and not to compromise on the quality of the product, the walnut must be collected and dried within 48 hours at the latest after it falls to the ground. A strong harvesting team, rapid mechanization, or having a walnut processing plant located in the surrounding area are essential in maintaining the value of the product.”