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ECONOMY, FOOD & AGRICULTURE

Turkey strengthens its position in global food market

ENGIN TATLIBAL / engintatlibal@gmail.com

In the last 20 years, in Turkey, food and other sectors foreign trade volumes increased approximately around similar levels. However food sector showed this performance without the advantage of liberty trade used by the other sectors. This should be recorded as the success of Turk Food exporters. As well as increasing export of traditional export products like fruit, vegetables and hardshells, processed food export has also increased.

Actually this should not surprise. As Rıza Seyyar from Yonca Gıda has stated; Turkey with its geography and microclimate has advantages for exquisiteness, taste, size, calibration and other parameters. What is the condition of superiority relatively?

Turkey, is the world leader for dried figs, nuts, seedless raisins/raisins, and dried apricots being the 7th agricultural producer worldwide. 2016/17 season estimations are; seedless raisins crop 313 thousand tons, dried figs crop 72 thousand tons, and dried apricots crop 103 thousand tons. Turkey grain, legumes, oily seeds and products export was 6,3 billion dollars in 2016. This is 4% increase. Olive and olive oil Turkey prices being integrated with the world, together with increase of production export increased by 400%.

Turkey is one of the leading honey producers in the world. In 2015 with 18,6 tons milk production Turkey was the leader in its area for milk and milk products. There was also 38,6 million tons grain, 28,5 million tons vegetables, 17,5 million tons fruit, 2 million tons poultry, and 1,1 million tons red meat production. In addition to this, where as plant species in Europe is around 11.500, Turkey is estimated to have 11.000 plant species.

The relevant production volume for Turkey in East Europe, Middle East and North Africa (EMENA) makes Turkey one of the largest agricultural products exporters and keep the positive trade balance. In 2015, 1781 kind agricultural product was exported to 190 countries with 16,8 billion US dollars of revenue.

Turkey has a strong agriculture and food industry with one forth employment of working population and 7,1% GDP. Contribution of the sector to Turkey GDP has showed an increase of 43% between 2002 and 2014 and has reached 57i,2 billion dollars in 2014.

Products like milk, yogurt, cheese, kefir and ayran are inseparable for Turk traditional nutrition system. Turk milk products that are traditionally handmade and unpacked, make a significant potential for investors that want to reach Turkey with mass market approach.

According to McKinsey and Co, Turkey fruit and vegetable processing, animal feed, stock farming, poultry, milk products, functional food, water products and backing products ( cold chain distribution, greenhouse, watering and fertilizing) etc., has investment opportunities for subsectors of agriculture industry.

Turkey aims to be one of the five producers worldwide, in agriculture sector with target for 2023. Turkey which will celebrate 100th anniversary of the foundation of the republic in 2023 has the following objectives: to increase agricultural gross domestic product 150 billion US dollars, to increase agricultural export to 40 billion US dollars, to increase irrigable area from 5,4 million hectors to 8,5 million hectors, and to rank first for fishing relative to EU.

Turk Eximbank, being the most important component for finance of export in Turkey, General Manager Adnan Yıldırım summarizes Turkey’s current situation as: “Turkey being an important transit point between east and west carries significant traits based on its geographical position. Export products carry these traits. Turkish export products are upgrade compared to Far East products and is competitive for western products based on quality. Turkish export products are close to Far East products best on price so a buyer that prefers Turkish products buys quality for a better price. On the other hand being close to Middle East and Europe is very advantageous for Turkish exporters. Balkans and Middle East with similar cultures end up in increase of demand for Turkish products.”

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