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Rare success: Producer cultivates genuine Turkish coffee in Mersin

In a remarkable feat, a producer in southern Mersin has successfully cultivated genuine Turkish coffee from a sapling he received as a gift three years ago.

Mersin, a leading producer of fresh vegetables and fruits in Türkiye, is also known for its cultivation of various tropical products. The city, particularly renowned for its banana production, has seen producers diversify into growing crops like dragon fruit and mango, serving as economic income generators.

Irfan Özçalışkan, a 70-year-old producer with a 50-acre garden in the Erdemli district, has added coffee trees to his diverse orchard, which already boasts around 15 different types of trees. Growing two saplings gifted to him by a friend in a banana greenhouse over three years, Özçalışkan achieved a height of 2.5 meters (8.2 feet), yielding his first coffee harvest this year. Planning to use the obtained seeds for further cultivation and distribute saplings to others, Özçalışkan expressed his satisfaction with the unexpected yield from just two trees.

Recalling how he received two coffee tree saplings as a gift, Özçalışkan shared: “I tried coffee with that seedling, and succeeded in producing fruit. I now considering further development. I plan to thoroughly test the saplings I grow and distribute them to my friends.”

Despite facing skepticism when he began growing the saplings, Özçalışkan remained undeterred. “When I told them, they said, ‘You can’t grow coffee here, what are you doing?’ But I did it. I saw that I raised it,” he remarked.

Conducting research on the internet about coffee tree cultivation, Özçalışkan discovered that such cultivation is not common in Türkiye. Encouraged by his success with banana cultivation, he decided to experiment with coffee trees and has been rewarded with promising results. “We will now be able to make genuine Turkish coffee with coffee grown in Limonlu,” he enthused.

Having planted the saplings three years ago, Özçalışkan is delighted with their growth, reaching up to 2.5 meters tall. His success not only diversifies the region’s agricultural output but also highlights the potential for cultivating unique crops in Türkiye’s diverse climatic conditions.

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