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“PLANNED PRODUCTION TO SECURE SUPPLY IN TURKIYE’S AGRICULTURE”

Türkiye’s Agriculture and Forestry ministry has most recently announced the adoption of the planned agriculture model as part of the “Century of Türkiye” vision, as the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry of Türkiye, affirmed that the product supply security will be ensured through planned production.

Drawing attention to three critical global issues, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Professor Dr. Vahit Kirişci said, “The first of these is agriculture and food, the second is water, and the third is energy. Agriculture and water are indispensable to humanity.”

Minister Kirişci highlighted, “We face challenges regarding both water and soil. Hence, we must plan our production accordingly,” emphasizing on the transition to the planned agriculture model.

Elaborating on the legislative work prepared for planned agriculture, Kirişci specified, “With planned agriculture, owners of fields, barns and poultry houses will no longer produce according to their own preferences. Production will be aligned with the requirements of planned production.”

Kirişci underscored the importance of classification as the foundation of planned production, stating, “We classify our products into two categories. The first comprises strategic products, while the second includes products that are beneficial to produce despite not being strategic.”

Regarding strategic products, which require ensured supply security, Kirişci explained, “Our Supply Security Department monitors global trends and provides us with information and reports on products we should produce and procure. We share this valuable information with producers, traders and the market.”

Contracted agriculture

Pointing out that the contracted production model as another crucial aspect of planning, the minister said, “Contractual production facilitates collaboration between buyers and sellers. We have initiated this approach in cattle breeding through the Meat and Milk Institution (ESK), guaranteeing the purchase of both meat and milk from producers. We are committed to this production model and intend to implement it across multiple product categories.”

Kirişci explained that the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry would assume the role of strategy development and oversight, adding, “In this context, we aim to delegate some of our responsibilities, much like in financial consultancy. We envision the establishment of certified food consultants, certified agricultural engineers and certified aquaculture specialists. We believe in reciprocity, akin to engineers or certified veterinarians.”

The minister indicated the progress of the agricultural sector over the past 20 years, emphasizing that the sector alone now accounts for exports that were previously contributed by all sectors combined.

“In 2006, we implemented legislation inspired by developed countries worldwide. The level of support, which was TL 1.8 billion TL in 2002, reached TL 40.4 billion by the end of 2022. These substantial supports enabled us to achieve a record-breaking plant production output. Türkiye’s crop production, which stood at 98 million tonnes in 2002, soared to 128.6 million tonnes in 2022. Likewise, our bovine population rose from 9.9 million in 2002 to 18 million in 2022. The number of sheep and goats also increased from 32 million to 58 million. We continue our efforts to enhance productivity,” the minister said.

Turkish salmon

Kirişçi also noted that although Türkiye is surrounded by seas on three sides, the country’s aquaculture production was previously relatively low.

“Turkish salmon, for instance, was relatively unknown. However, in 2002, salmon production reached 62,000 tonnes and by 2022, it surged to 525,000 tonnes. Fisheries exports alone reached $1.7 billion. In total, our exports amounted to $29.9 billion. If we push our 2022 target of $36 billion, which was achieved across all sectors, a bit further, we will be in a position to sustain the sector’s growth independently. By the end of this year, we aim to approach the $36 billion mark,” the minister added.

About İsmail Uğural

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