Korkut Yetgin, a farmer who grows 1,500 tons of ornamental pumpkin on his 500-decare field in the Central Anatolian province of Konya, receives high demand from the Netherlands and Russia as Halloween approaches.
“Of the 1,500 tons of pumpkin we produce annually, we sell 80 percent to the domestic market. We aim to increase the foreign market’s rate to 50-60 percent,” Yetgin said, adding that they started exporting with the Netherlands.
After his father Ali Yetgin started the business in Konya Plain with tulip bulbs he brought from the Netherlands 16 years ago, Korkut Yetgin, taking over the business in 2016, found the way out by growing the ornamental pumpkins “he saw in festivals abroad” when the demand for tulips decreased.
First planting pumpkins on an area of 50 decares in Çumra district, Yetgin said he gave the pumpkins produced in the first year to large supermarkets across Türkiye.
Increasing the production to 500 decares when the demand for pumpkins increased, the company’s target for the next year is to produce on 1,000 decares.
Expressing that they irrigate the pumpkins by drip method and plant them by seedling, Yetgin said, “We employ 160 people in our company during the harvest period.”
There are hundreds of varieties of pumpkin, Yetgin explained. “We started with 20 varieties, now we have increased to 70-80. We produce according to demand. Pumpkins are sold by the kilo, mini pumpkins are sold by the piece. They can both be eaten and used as an ornament.”
Thanks to its economical price, it is a valuable product that can be consumed by people from all walks of life, according to Yetkin.
“It is made into desserts, pastries, jams, and used in meat dishes,” he added.