Sustainable pistachio production

Location: Turkey

Impact Area

  • Nutrition
  • Water
  • Rural Development
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Compliance
  • Community engagement
  • Gender balance & diversity
Sep 18, 2012, updated September 2012

Sustainable pistachio production
GROWTH AREA:A farmer tends to his pistachio trees in Gaziantep, Turkey.

Although Turkey is the gene center of pistachio; pistachio production per tree is around 3 kg vs 18-20 kg in USA and Iran. Turkey is the third largest producers of pistachios in the world with 105,000 tons a year following Iran and USA. However, there is the potential to increase the production levels through training the farmers about more efficient and modern agricultural techniques.

Programme description

In collaboration with the TEMA Foundation (the Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion, for Reforestation and the Protection of Natural Habitats), Nestlé has started a TRY 1.5 million (CHF 1.1 million) rural development project in south-eastern Turkey.

The project is owned by DAMAK, Nestlé Turkey’s strong local brand of pistachio milk chocolate, which has a heritage dating back more than 75 years.

Turkey is the third largest producer of pistachios in the world with 105,000 tonnes a year, contributing around 20% of total world production, and there are 10,000 fruit-bearing pistachio trees in the project area. However, there is the potential to increase production levels significantly, so to fulfil this potential, pistachio cultivators across the region are being trained in the most efficient agricultural techniques.

The project started in January 2011 and will continue for 3 years followed by an observation period for 5 years.

Value to Society

Nestlé believes that through such capacity building, productivity per tree, which is currently around 3 kg, could increase three-fold in the next five years. The economic and social welfare of 100,000 people living in the immediate area will also be enhanced, and similar projects with other crops are more likely to follow.

Value to Nestlé

Next Steps