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A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF TURKIYE’S 100-YEAR AGRICULTURAL SECTOR…

Türkiye, a global agricultural power in terms of output has ensured supply security through its 100-year-long history of the republic with initiatives involving technological adaptation, broadening farmer support and encouraging domestic production.

While agriculture has become strategic for various reasons, comprehensive studies ranging from technological developments in agriculture to support have been carried out since the establishment of the republic.

Dairy farming

According to the 1927 census, Türkiye, with a population of approximately 13.6 million, faced problems such as decreased production, loss of labor force and famine as a result of wars in the early years of the republic.

Between 1923 and 1938, 3.7 million decares of land were distributed in Türkiye; while the import of agricultural products was 27% in 1923, this rate reduced to 18% in 1928 with the measures.

Within the scope of land consolidation, work started in 1961 and has continued until today. Within this framework, 759,365 decares of land were brought into production in 2022 and 500,000 decares of land were targeted to be consolidated for 2023.

Thus, a total of seven million decares of land has been consolidated since 1961.

Agri-machinery

Since the history of the republic, a process evolving from primitive tools to artificial intelligence has been followed with the effect of efforts to increase agricultural productivity. While revolutionary practices were implemented on the one hand, technology was integrated into agriculture on the other.

Among top 10 agricultural economies

While Türkiye has been expanding its economic and commercial opportunities with both legislation and incentives of the public sector, especially in the period 2002-2022, the incentives and grants of 70 billion dollars that the public sector has put into effect to support the agricultural sector have created a total economic production value of 1 trillion dollars in the same period.

High-tech irrigation

Thus, Turkish agriculture has become one of the 10 largest agricultural economies in the world, especially with the transformation it has undergone in the last 20 years and considering the potential it has, it is predicted that the agricultural sector in the country can be further strengthened.

The country’s agricultural production, which was worth 24.48 billion dollars in 2002, surpassed 58 billion dollars in 2022.

This figure is projected to reach 113 billion dollars in the 2030s and 273 billion dollars in the 2050s.

While the share of the agricultural sector in GDP was at 6.5 percent in 2022, Türkiye has become the 9th country in the world in this field; exports of agricultural products 26 billion dollars as of 2022.

Türkiye, which has achieved a 20.8-fold increase in agricultural output in the last 20 years with the support given to farmers, has ranked in the top 10 in the world and at the top in Europe in this field.

Agricultural support provided by the public sector increased from 1.9 billion liras (1.1 billion dollars) in 2002 to 63.4 billion liras (2.2 billion dollars) by 2023 and a target of 91.55 billion liras (3.25 billion dollars) was set for 2024.

Record in field crops

With the effect of all these developments, there was a rise of 14.6 percent in field crops and 7.7 percent in fruits.

Cotton

Last year, 8.5 million tonnes of corn, 2.75 million tonnes of cotton and 2.55 million tonnes of sunflower were produced, breaking the record in the history of the republic.

While about 1.1 million tonnes of hazelnuts are produced annually in the world, 64 percent of this production, 28 percent of quince production and 25 percent of cherry production are made by Türkiye.

While the world fig production reaches 1.35 million tonnes, Türkiye ranks first in this product with a 24 percent share. The country also ranks first in apricot production, accounting for 22 percent of the world’s apricot production.

Seed sector

In the 100-year history of the Republic of Türkiye, important steps have been taken in the seed sector.

The seed sector, which continues to grow and develop in the country, has also achieved integration with international systems.

Fresh fruit and vegetables

In this context, the number of seed companies, which was around 120 in 2002, has increased to 1,093 as of today.

In the 2002-2022 period, seed production rose from 145,000 tonnes to 1.36 million tonnes.

During this period, Türkiye’s exports of certified seeds surged from 17.3 million dollars to 232.6 million dollars.

Seed R&D studies also accelerated significantly in this period with the introduction of modern biotechnological methods.

In recent years, organic farming activities have gained importance.

Türkiye ranks 22nd in the world in terms of organic agriculture area, 26th in terms of the number of producers and 4th in Europe.

Fishery and animal products

The country is also the 5th country that exports the most organic products to Europe.

When it comes to the water field 10,136 facilities were put into service in the last two decades,

During this period, the number of dams and ponds increased from 508 to 1,742 and the amount of water stored increased from 133 billion cubic meters (bcm) to 183 bcm.

In the livestock side, another important area in the Turkish agricultural sector, the number of cattle soared from 5.2 million in 1929 to 10.2 million in 1938 and to 16.6 million in 1979.

In the 2002-2022 period, the number of cattle increased from 9.9 million to 17 million and reached 16.7 million by the end of June 2023.

Furthermore, Türkiye ranked first among European countries in aquaculture production.

Honey

On the other hand, Türkiye ranks fifth in terms of fresh fruit and vegetable production with 58 million tonnes and also takes place among top 10 milk producing countries with over 23 million tonnes in the world.

The amount of honey produced in the beekeeping sector increased from 55,000 tonnes in 1991 to 118.3,000 tonnes in 2022.

Within the scope of efforts to develop beekeeping and increase honey production, a “Honey Map” was created. In the country, which has 27 registered honey varieties with geographical indications, 20 honey types are waiting to be registered…

About İsmail Uğural

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