Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Manisa Assembly Representatives, Selçuk Özdağ, Muzaffer Yurttaş, Hüseyin Tanrıverdi, Uğur Aydemir and Recai Berber are planning to launch a project that aims to distribute raisins to schools.
Speaking about the project, whose motto is "healthy generation, healthy future," Özdağ said that Turkey is responsible for half of the world's total grape production, and its annual production is near 280,000-320,000. Moreover, Manisa meets 85 percent of domestic consumption, and the majority of the grapes are exported to EU countries and Russia.
Adding that grape consumption is low in Turkey, with the average consumption per person being between 250 and 300 grams, Özdağ said that this amount is 1.7 kilograms in Europe and reaches between 2 and 2.5 kilograms in China and other countries. Özdağ emphasized that domestic consumption should increase to between 40,000 and 50,000 tons from 20,000 tones. He also called on charity organizations to distribute grapes in addition to persimmons
Özdağ suggested that grape consumption needed to be encouraged and also highlighted that Turkish Airlines promoted the fruit before by distributing one million packages of Manisa Sultaniye grapes in its international flights.
Stressing that distributing small packages of raisins, which is around 40 to 50 grams, to schools will increase consumption and contribute to producer income, Özdağ said that enterprises and the presidents of chambers of commerce are ready to contribute to the project.
The government has been distributing milk to elementary school students as part of the Okul Sütü (School Milk) project for more than three years. If the raisin project is approved by the Parliament, raisins will be distributed together with milk.