Sheep and Goat Breeders’ Association of Turkey (TÜDKİYEB) Chairman Nihat Çelik said that while the US dollar rose to 7.5 liras and earning foreign exchange has become one of the most important elements of the economy in this environment, making exports has gained a significance in terms of closing the foreign deficit.
Çelik said, “The remedy of the current deficit is in sheep and goat breeding. Over 10 billion dollars of livestock and red meat are exported in sheep and goats across the world. It should not be overlooked that we have a potential of billions of dollars in this field where the demand is increasing.”
Çelik stated, “If Australia can make an export of nearly 3 billion dollars and New Zealand can make an export of 2.7 billion dollars, Turkey’s exports as located in the middle of import markets, can reach to these performance at a not too long time.”
Nihat Çelik noted in his statement that according to the 2018 data of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Australia ranked first with exports of sheep and goat meat of 2 billion 667 million dollars.
Indicating that New Zealand followed this country with 2 billion 633 million dollars in mutton and New Zealand also exported more than 7 million dollars of goat meat, Çelik added, “In addition to Australia’s sheep and goat meat exports, this country exports 118 million dollars of live sheep and 6 million dollars of live goats.”
Holland and England make re-export imported meat…
Çelik explained, “The UK ranks third with 487 million dollars in sheep meat exports and Ireland fourth with 359 million dollars. The Netherlands, which ranks 5th, achieves this success by exporting the product it imports with the presence of less than 1 million head of sheep.”
Pointing out that the Netherlands imports 413 million dollars in order to realize the export of sheep meat worth 347 million dollars, Çelik continued as follows:
“England is no different. It imports 483 million dollars for the export of 487 million dollars of sheep meat. New Zealand exports 2 billion 633 million dollars of live sheep and mutton meat with the assets of 27.3 million sheep. According to latest figures, despite our population of sheep with a head of 42.7 million and 12.35 million goats, our exports are almost negligible. We have 4 million dollars of exports and 62.5 million dollars of imports. We need to move to export-oriented production.”
What should be done?
Underlining that they aim to reach 90 million heads in sheep and goat farming, Çelik concluded:
“It’s not enough just to increase the number. We have to increase efficiency as well. We should get more meat, milk, lamb, kid from an animal. We have to reach the optimal weight in animal weight as soon as possible. We have to include other agricultural lands that do not have the opportunity to produce vegetation and whose area is over 15.8 million hectares within the scope of pasture and to increase their productivity by improving meadows and pastures.
We have to complete irrigation investments. We have to use some of the irrigated lands in the production of forage crops. We have to reduce the feed costs. In short, the increase in production and export supports should be continued, special supports for export should be given, the shepherd problem should be solved, pasture areas should be increased and improved, thus costs should be brought down.”