Fri., June 1, 2012 3:31pm (EDT)

State Courting Trade With Turkey
By Josephine Bennett
Updated: 2 years ago

MACON, Ga.  —  
Port of Mersin in Turkey, one of the places visited by the Georgia delegation. (image courtesy Port of Mersin)
Port of Mersin in Turkey, one of the places visited by the Georgia delegation. (image courtesy Port of Mersin)
Georgia government, academic, and business leaders are wrapping up a week long trip to Turkey. State agriculture officials hope the trade mission will increase exports of Georgia grown crops.

In 2011 Georgia businesses exported more than 600-million dollars in goods to Turkey. The top export item is Georgia-grown cotton. Turkey is among the top five worldwide consumers of the fiber.

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black is traveling with the delegation that includes Governor Nathan Deal. He says they’re also trying to interest people there in other crops.

“Pecans, peanuts, we have had some excellent contacts and believe that we’re some ‘fruit’ come from those contacts in the near future.”

Black says they plan to ship pecan samples to Turkey and hold a virtual tasting session. Similar trade efforts in China and India have increased demand and prices. While in Turkey the Georgia Department of Agriculture signed an agreement with the Georgia Department of Economic Development shifting marketing responsibilities to ECD.