The most famous apricot in the world is the Turkish apricot. Within Turkey, the best known area for growing that famous apricot is Malatya.
In Turkey, the apricot is synonymous with Malatya. The apricot, after being brought from its homeland in Turkestan of Central Asia and Western China, has been developed into its most delicious and sophisticated form in the fertile soil of Malatya. About 10-15% of the worldwide crop of fresh apricots, and about 65-80% of the worldwide production of dried apricots belong to Malatya.
“Malatya Fair and Apricot Festivities” has been held since 1978, every year in July, to promote Malatya and apricots and to convene the producers to meet one another. During the festivities, various sports activities, concerts and apricot contests are organized.
Having an ideal climate and natural habitat for apricot cultivation. Malatya is known to be the primary source for Turkish dried apricots. As a result very rich reserves of spring-water, Malatya has also many natural beauties.
Due to the ecohogical advantages that are naturally granted to this province, worldwide famous and high quality dried apricots are provided in Malatya. In terms of the quality attributes like colour, flavour, texture moisture content, etc., Malatya dried apricots are indispensable. Malatya and dried apricots, have now almost turned out to be two identical concepts. One compliments the other. Malatya dried apricots are richer than all the other varieties grown throughout the world in terms of vitamins A, B1, B2, C, Beta Carotene, mineral substances, energy and proteins.
Dried apricot processing establishments and exporters are generally located in the provinces of Malatya and Izmir. There are about 65 processing factories, 40 of which are located in the province of Malatya and the rest located in the province of Izmir. Most of the producers at the same time are exporters and experienced in supplying this special product of Turkey to world markets for many years.
Dried apricots, containing many of the major vitamins and minerals, are especially known to be beneficial to the functions of the human body some of which are as follows.
– Regulation of the functioning of the brain, gives energy and helps release stress,
– Helps in recovery of liver, which is known to be the most important organ for storage and waste disposal of the body,
– Playing an important role in keeping the bones and teeth healthier and stronger,
– Prevention of anaemia by increasing the blood production process,
– Besides playing an important role in the therapy of ulcers that occur, it also prevents the formation of stomach and intestine ulcers,
– Decreasing the formation of kidney stones,
– Provides a regulatory role in the reproduction system and increases ones sexual potency,
– It has a preventive measure against cancer,
– Making cardiac muscles stronger and the functioning of the heart more regular.
DRIED APRICOT PROCESSING
The world’s fresh apricot production is about 2 224 000 tons. However, statistical information regarding the production and trade of dried apricots is rather difficult. This arises from those countries in which both the production and the trade of apricots are not recorded due to their small quantities.
Although apricot production may show large variations according to climatic conditions of the year, Turkey is the leading producing country throughout the world. For the last three years annual production has been measured at 340 000 tons on the average. The number of apricot trees in Turkey is about 10 239 000.
Apricot cultivation, which is spread in most of the agricultural regions of Turkey, finds its best environment in the province of Malatya. This province, which is located in the Central Eastern Anatolian Region, produces nearly half of the crop. There are 5 091 630 apricot trees in this province and yearly production is about 150 000 tons. Almost all of the drying process and at least 95 % of the dried apricots produced, is exported. Malatya, produces almost the export oriented dried apricot in Turkey. In 1992 dried apricot production of Malatya, was determined as 39 474 tons. Malatya supplies this fruit to about 50-60 countries throughout the world. Therefore Malatya is well known for its quality of dried apricots.
Southeastern Anatolian Project (GAP), which will be completed in the near future and which will increase the agricultural production of Turkey in great amounts, is also expected to contribute to the increase in the volume of fresh and dried apricot output of this province.