Las Cruces – The New Mexico Department of Agriculture's international marketing specialist has left for Turkey to promote New Mexico pecans there.
James Ditmore says he plans to meet with pecan importers and distributors in Istanbul and Adnan, Turkey, and attend a food trade fair in Izmir, Turkey, to help promote New Mexico pecans.
He says many in Turkey consider the pecan an exotic nut.
Last year, Ditmore traveled to Dubai to promote pecans.
The Agriculture Department says its marketing specialists have promoted New Mexico's pecan industry internationally in the last several years.
Agriculture Secretary Miley Gonzalez says efforts have paid off, with pecan exports to China increasing significantly.
New Mexico is among the top three pecan-producing states.
Last year, it produced about 70 million pounds, resulting in $133 million to growers.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.