The production of highly nutritious mulberry molasses has begun for the villagers of Aktoprak who wake up early each morning in Turkey's eastern province of Bingöl to gather mulberries.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency on Wednesday, villager Nihat Dursun said 30 kilograms of molasses (66 pounds) could be produced from 150 kilograms (331 pounds) of mulberries.
To make the sweet nectar, villagers stretch large cloths under mulberry trees to prevent their fruit from hitting the ground when they fall off the branch. The berries are then washed and boiled in large boilers on wood fires and are left to cool on trays.
The provincial Directorate of Agriculture and Forestry is working to bring mulberry molasses to symbolize the province.
"Mulberry molasses is beneficial for stomach and intestinal diseases and also cures anemia," Dursun said.
"The molasses is best when the mulberries are boiled within half an hour after harvest without waiting, or else it will turn sour," Dursun added.
Provincial Director of Agriculture and Forestry Burhan Bahadır said the molasses was produced under completely natural conditions and that the resulting product was examined extensively.
Bahadır underlined that they would then apply to the Turkish patent institute for the registration of the mulberry molasses as an official provincial symbol, adding that this would increase the value of the produced molasses and have a positive impact on the economy for the region and the country.