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SEBAHATTİN ARSLANTÜRK: WE CAN EASILY REACH 5 BILLION DOLLARS OF HAZELNUT EXPORTS

National Hazelnut Council (UFK) President Sebahattin Arslantürk said that they might easily reach the export of 4-5 million dollars if they could increase productivity and quality of the product while reducing costs…

In his written statement, Arslantürk stated that the most important agricultural export product should be followed by stable policies planned from production to consumption instead of vicious conflicts in hazelnuts.

Arslantürk said, “Stable policies should be formed in a comprehensive manner including the producers as well as the final target consumers. It is not possible to say that our hazelnut policies are good and sound. Supporting the land rather than the product at the production stage means that we start badly. To improve efficiency and quality, we need to switch to a product-based support system, not lands.”

Arslantürk noted that Turkey should has short, medium and long term policies containing 10, 20 and 30 years of hazelnut policies and continued as follows:

“Along with approximately 720 thousand hectares of gardens Turkey is the largest hazelnut producer in the world. What appears is there are around 500 thousand, but the majority of which are not real producers. On the other hand production capacity per person is around 1400 kgs. In my opinion they should not be considered as a producer. This is something like being a hobbyst. That’s why we produce only 550-600 thousand tons of hazelnuts today yet we used to have almost the same quantity 15-20 years ago.”

Stating that it is very easy to increase the production of existing hazelnut orchards, said Arslantürk, as they started 15 years ago in this field and particularly in the last 5 years, the removal of old orchards with different planting systems created by the work of all segments of the sector.

Arslantürk also stressed that an understanding that emphasizes productivity and quality in production must be dominated by the sector and said:

“Imagine that we have created a producer profile that makes 40 tons of hazelnuts per year. First of all, the desire and demand of the producer will change because it will earn its livelihood from it. Production costs will decrease, the yield will increase, Turkish hazelnuts will become more quality. It will enhance the earnings from this product in Turkey in a particular process. If we can increase the efficiency and quality by reducing the production costs, 4-5 billions of export target can be easily attained. For this a joint satisfaction of producers and consumers should be aimed at the core of nuts policies.”

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About İsmail Uğural

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