Exponential Growth for Turkey’s Food Sector
Jane Craigie recently visited Turkey as part of an International Federation of Agricultural Journalists’ media tour organised by the Turkey’s Guild of Agricultural Journalists.
Turkey’s plans for EU accession are intelligent and strategic, with investment being made into many industries, including significant policy shifts to benefit the food and farming sector, and to ensure its outputs meet EU standards.
Turkey’s national exports grew by 325% between 2002-2012 to a current value of $143 billion USD. Its top three export countries are Germany, the UK and Iraq. The EU as a whole is its largest export market.
Turkey ranks number eight in the world for food production; understandable given its climate, which is perfect for producing a huge variety of crops and livestock. Food accounts for just over 15% of its exports; the main outputs being cereals and pulses, fresh fruit and vegetables, dried and processed fruit, nuts and oils.
Demand Outstripping Supply
Domestic food consumption is also growing, as the country’s 78 million people become more affluent and demand more of everything. Turkey’s farmers cannot produce enough, leading to a woeful undersupply, particularly of meat and dairy products.
Beef is a good example of the scale of the shortfall, with over 100,000 head of live cattle as well as carcase imports, from South America, Australia and the EU (57,000 tonnes in 2015).
These issues have galvanised Turkey’s national and regional Governments to support farmers and farmer co-operatives to increase farm size and productivity and, crucially, to meet European standards for food safety, animal welfare and the environment.
Turkey’s cultivated land area totals 24.5 million ha, however, the average farm size is just 5.9 ha, making the supply chain very fragmented at farm level. Two years ago Turkey’s land laws were changed to favour one child inheriting a family’s land, where previously all children benefited from their share. This is already creating much needed agglomeration in the industry.
Government subsidies are wide-ranging, including the provision of 0% loans for young farmers, incentives for reaching EU production standards and up to 50% towards farm machinery purchases.
There are headage payments for importing Holstein, Brown Swiss and Simmental breeding stock, for reaching herd health targets and direct subsidies for volume of production.
Policy shifts are also improving commerciality, for example, in 2000, the hugely important Turkish co-ops were legally allowed to become autonomous, making them more strategic and market focused.
Tire Sűt, is one example - a dairy and meat co-operative in Tire County near Izmir that manufactures a cheese similar to feta, yoghurt, a popular salty yoghurt drink called Ayran and UHT milk; it also processes meat into salami-style sausages. Tire Sűt has over 2,000 producer members and collects over 300 tonnes of milk/day. Many of these producers will be small, reflecting Turkey’s average herd size of just 4-5 cows, each yielding circa 3,100 litres/day.
$1 million dairy farm investment
In contrast there are a growing number of large farms in Tire County, including Mehmet Doğan’s 200 ha Titar Farm, which supplies 10% of Tire Sűt’s milk.
Mr Doğan has invested $1 million USD into the farm’s modern dairy facilities, which currently houses 1,000 Holsteins imported from Germany. The all-year housed herd is milked three times a day and yields average 30 litres per cow per day. His aim is to increase the herd size to 3,000 cows.
Mr Doğan is paid 1.20 Turkish Lira (TL) (30ppl), and receives an additional 0.09 TL (0.02ppl) subsidy for every litre produced. He receives a further 50 TL (£12.50) per head annually for producing milk to EU standards and 60 TL (£14.80) per head per year for compliance with TB and brucellosis herd health status standards.
His costs of production are a hefty 0.95 TL per litre (23ppl), which is high, because he buys in most of the herd’s feed, favouring to preserve the farm’s lucrative almond and olive orchards which extend to over 15,000 trees.
Mr. Doğan’s plans don’t end at the dairy; when the herd reaches 3,000 head, he will start trading in-calf heifers and young bulls and he plans to set up a 20,000 head beef fattening unit and abattoir, sourcing live cattle from Uruguay and Australia. This will be followed by establishing a 5,000-bird egg production unit and agri-tourism units.
Goat and Sheep Dairy
Turkish people have a history of eating meat and dairy products from goats and sheep; this is another booming sector for the country and one in which farmer Özer Türer has invested.
Mr Türer farms in Seferihisar County near Izmir, milking 3,000 Saanen goats and 2,000 sheep – a cross breed of Osfiriz (a German milk and meat breed) and Sakis, a local Izmir breed. The milk is processed on the farm into Keecheese branded cheese and UHT milk. He also produces both sheep and goat meat, butchered on the farm, as well as growing herbs, pomegranate, olives, almonds and mandarins.
Like Mehmet Doğan, Özer Türer is driving to grow his business. He is already buying liquid milk from other farms in the region, taking his processed outputs to 2,000 tonnes of liquid milk and 5,000 tonnes of cheese per year; but he suggests that he could sell double this quantity given the market demand. He is also building his animal numbers to reach 10,000 sheep and goats over the next five years.
Progressive farmers like Mehmet Doğan and Özer Türer are an elite but growing breed in Turkey as both local and international investors start to embrace the food market opportunity – an opportunity that seems to have no bounds.
Türkiye'nin Avrupa Birliği'ne girişine ilişkin planlar iyi düşünülmüş stratejik hamlelerdir. Bu kapsamda birçok sanayi koluna yatırımlar yapılmış, tarım ve gıda sektörlerine fayda sağlayacak ve elde edilecek çıktıların AB standartlarını karşıladığını temin etmeye yönelik önemli politika değişikliklerine gidilmiştir.
2002-2012 yılları arasında Türkiye'nin ulusal ihracatı %325 oranında büyüyerek bugünkü 143 milyar dolar değerine ulaşmıştır. Türkiye'nin en fazla ihracat yaptığı ilk üç ülke Almanya, Birleşik Krallık ve Irak'tır. Bir bütün olarak AB, Türkiye'nin en büyük ihracat pazarıdır.
Çok farklı desenlerde bitki ve hayvan yetiştirilmesini mümkün kılması açısından mükemmel olan iklim şartları göz önünde bulundurulduğunda Türkiye'nin gıda üretiminde dünyada 8. sırada yer alması son derece olağandır. Gıda ürünleri ülke ihracatının %15'ini oluşturmakla birlikte ihraç edilen temel gıda ürünleri arasında hububat ve bakliyatlar, taze meyve ve sebzeler, kurutulmuş ve işlenmiş meyveler, sert kabuklu yemişler ve yağlar yer alır…."
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