Located just in face from the Greek island of Chios, the Çeşme Peninsula of Turkey is lagging behind behind the island in terms of son most famous product: mastic, a plant used in the production of chewing gum and as a spice in kitchens of the two neighbors countries. Turkey aims to compete with son neighbor carrying out mass planting of mastic trees across the peninsula located in the country’s third largest province, Izmir.
the main goal behind mass planting is to replenish burned forests in the region, but Zafer Derince, head of the direction general of Forestry for Izmir, says they or they also wanted end the Greek monopoly on mastic trees.
Chios, called “Sakız” (gum) in turkish east just about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the Aegean coast of Turkey but far ahead in the culture of mastic which has its roots in ancient ages and is protected by a geographical indication mark. Çeşme was an important mastic center in the past centuries but declining agricultural activities in the peninsula, a popular holiday destination for local and foreign tourists these days, cut off back the production. In recent years, Turkey has resumed its efforts to boost production and thousands of mastic trees have been planted throughout the country. But the Çeşme Peninsula remains the top location in terms of yields.
Crews of the local Forest Service continues to plant trees throughout the planting season that has begun in October and will end in March. Planting concentrates on areas burned by forest fires last year. Saplings now adorn the burnt areas in districts of Çeşme, Karaburun and Urla across the peninsula.
Authorities hope the trees will both increase green wealth of the region and provide additional income for Locals with export of produce trees.
Derince told Anadolu Agency (AA) on On Friday the peninsula was hit by massive forest fire on August 15, 2021, which emptied a area of 347 hectares (857 acres) near Gerence Bay, part of the peninsula in the neighborhood of Urla. the fire devastated sandalwood, wild olive trees and wild mastic trees. the work to reconstitute the area began shortly after the fire.
“Lentisks are part of of this geography and we chose them mainly for restore burned areas. Unfortunately, the Çeşme peninsula is poor in terms of presence of mastic and we want it’s to make a comeback in son native Earth. So far we have planted 5,500 saplings,” he said. In the past three years, local forestry crews planted 15,000 mastic seedlings in Aegean districts region.
“Lentisks have almost disappeared in this region. You can only see them in a few orchards. In the next three to four years, we want plant thousands of more trees, at least 50,000,” Derince said.
Forest services also ensure the conservation for young trees for five years after planting. Trees start the growth of putty resin in the eighth year of planting. Derince says first product typically weighs up at 300 grams and in in subsequent years, a tree is capable of growth 1-1/2 pounds of putty. “It’s profitable to produce. Once we see the first returns, we will provide training for the inhabitants here on how to make them grow. It will be a new livelihood for their. We also plan to market their for exports,” he said.
Turkey is striving to improve its forests in a context fight against the climate crisis. Last December, he obtained the goal crash 252 millions young trees in a year in the framework of of son breath for the future campaignmass planting drive who reached son apogee on November 11 National Reforestation Day. The country ranks first in Europe in terms of son annual net Gain in wooded areas in the past decade. He ranks sixth in the world, according to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). He managed to increase the forest area at 22.9 millions hectares of 20.8 millions hectares in 2002. The country is also pursue a campaign to boost production of saplings and increase income from forest products, i.e. fruit and honey production, for villager. Thousands of forests have been created in rural areas to generate additional income for Farmers.
mass planting of trees and improvement of the pastures are also among the measures taken against erosion and desertification, within the framework of an action plan by the government. Hundreds of thousands of acres of the earth turns into a desert every year due to poor irrigation. Officials say Turkey is among the countries most affected by the increase in non-arable land and climate change, as it occurs in a challenge geographical location sandwiched between different climates.