I am IPARD beneficiary Mehmet Şahin Çetinkaya from Büyük Kabaca district of Isparta. I have been producing and selling apple for 35 years. I started this business by working in apple gardens and selling the fruits in market bazaar. I bought an orchard 12 years ago and started production. I produce 500 tons of apples annually and wanted to extend my business. I was thinking that I needed a cold storage to improve my business. In the beginning, I hesitated a bit in applying for IPARD support but after doing some research, I became more confident about the IPARD grant program. Then I applied to the Isparta Provincial Coordination Unit of ARDSI to take the advantage of this opportunity. I applied to IPARD for a 2,500 ton atmospheric storage. I have always made investment for 35 years, but within 2 years, thanks to the IPARD support, I achieved four times the total of my investments I made throughout my entire life. This region is worldwide known with apple production. Besides my own production, I also let other farmers use my cold storage for their products. However, there is still need for many more cold storage facilities in this region. I am planning to increase the capacity of my enterprise and generate renewable energy in the future. I also have investment plans for producing boxes and packaging materials as there is a need for them in the sector. Cold storage management is a business demanding much experience and knowledge. It should never be considered as a business which can be entered with eyes closed. I also would like to draw attention to own capital and recommend prospective investors to think about unexpected costs and business capital.
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