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DR. BARBAROS OZER: TURKIYE HAS NO CHANCE TO SEND DAIRY PRODUCTS OUTSIDE KAPIKULE

The cost dilemma of the dairy sector: “Türkiye has no chance to send products outside Kapıkule (Customs Gate of Türkiye’s western Edirne province)”

At the 3rd National Dairy Congress, where the future of the dairy industry was examined from the perspective of “Sustainability”, Professor Dr. Barbaros Özer stated that half of the milk produced in Türkiye is not productive and there is a quality problem and said, “Türkiye, which ranks 10th in the world and 3rd in Europe in milk production, has no chance to send products outside Kapıkule, especially in terms of cost. Dairy products mainly go to Central Asia.”

Stating that antibiotics are a serious problem in Turkey, Prof. Dr. Özer said: “Although important steps have been taken to solve this problem, they are still insufficient. Efforts are being made to prevent irregularities and mistakes in the application of antibiotics with the application of ear tags. Another problem is that 69-70 per cent of animal breeders in Türkiye have less than 10 animals. These small-scale producers should be trained to apply certain hygienic practices, this will be a step that will also affect the quality of milk.”

The 3rd National Dairy Congress, organised in partnership with Ankara University Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Dairy Technology and Karma Group, brought together academia and sector leaders in Ankara.

“Sustainability should be approached through realisation, not through reports”

Pointing out that the main theme of the congress is “The future of the dairy industry from a sustainability perspective”, Professor Dr. Barbaros Özer, Head of the Organising Committee, Ankara University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Dairy Technology, explained, “Our theme is sustainability, but we are here to think together about how much it can be filled in. When we put it on paper, we prepare good reports, but we need to look at how much of them we realise. Even international food giants are saying how far behind the sustainability targets they set for themselves in 2012-2015 by 2020. In other words, it is necessary to approach sustainability not through reports, but through realisation strategies, and we will look at the dairy industry from this perspective.”

“We cannot get efficiency from half of the milk produced”

Özer emphasised that the country has a high production power in terms of dairy farming, but the problem of not being able to get efficiency from half of the milk produced, and said the following:

“These discussions have been going on for 35 years. These results show that the policies of 35 years ago have not changed. In addition to this, we have problems regarding the quality of milk and dairy farming and we cannot overcome this. There are well-intentioned approaches, but this is not enough to increase the quality. A practice that started at the beginning of this year is to provide a quality incentive for milk based on fat content and protein. I wonder why the state should be interested in the fat and protein content of milk, this is the business of the private sector, but if an incentive is mentioned in the constitution to protect the health of the public, I would put an incentive system focusing on somatic cell count and antibiotics on the agenda. Eliminating such contradictions should be among our priorities.

“There is no chance to send products outside Kapıkule”

Türkiye has an important place in world milk production. The country, which ranks 10th in the world and 3rd in Europe, has no chance to send products outside Kapıkule (Customs Gate of Türkiye’s western Edirne province), especially in terms of cost. Dairy products mainly go to Central Asia. We have recently started to send products to China. I hope we will start exporting dairy products to Russia again soon.”

Stating that antibiotics are a serious problem in Türkiye, Dr. Özer added, “Although important steps have been taken to solve this problem, they are still insufficient. Efforts are being made to prevent irregularities and mistakes in the application of antibiotics with the application of ear tags. Another problem is that 69-70 per cent of animal breeders in the country have less than 10 animals. These small-scale producers should be trained to apply certain hygienic practices, this will be a step that will also affect the quality of milk.”

About İsmail Uğural

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