Ankara-August 18, 2020
Union of Turkish Agricultural Chambers President Şemsi Bayraktar said that sauceboat tomato prices fell up to 30 kurush and table tomatoes to 60 kurush.
Bayraktar stated that if the decrease in prices continues, the tomato producer may withdraw from production or turn to alternative products.
Bayraktar pointed out that the importance of food security was better understood with the pandemic and reminded that the Turkish farmer showed great sacrifice in this process and stayed in his field and continued production.
“Production costs increased”
Indicating that the farmers who produce with great devotion for their country to feed their citizens faced various adversities in this process, Bayraktar continued as follows:
“Many of the farmers, including our tomato producers, struggling with natural disasters and plant diseases, had to replant their seedlings. This situation increased the production costs significantly. Despite all these negativities, our farmers, who continue to produce without giving up, face marketing problems today. Exports need to be opened urgently so that tomatoes are not left in the field. In order to solve the problem in table tomatoes, the way to export to Iraq and Saudi Arabia should be opened, Agricultural Credit Cooperatives and Metropolitan Municipalities should support our producers in difficult situations by purchasing.”
Expressing that sauceboat tomato producers also suffered losses due to prices falling below the cost, Bayraktar invited tomato paste factories to show mercy who do not comply with the principles of the contract.
Stating that some tomato paste factories that do not fulfill their responsibilities turn a blind eye to the damage of the producers, Bayraktar said, “Factories that do not fulfill the requirements of the contract and purchase at prices that will not meet the costs caused a decrease in prices. Factories should know very well that if our farmers move away from production, finding tomatoes next year will be a dream. “Our producers should not be left at the mercy of factories, our Chambers of Agriculture should be authorized to audit compliance with the contracts.”
Underlining that they welcome TÜRKŞEKER (Turkey Sugar Factories) to enter the market in tomato paste, Bayraktar emphasized that Agricultural Credit Cooperatives, which purchase tomato paste on a contract basis, should increase their quotas and help the farmers who are their members.
“We conveyed the problems of our farmers”
Bayraktar said, “We closely follow our farmers’ problems through 765 chamber of agriculture presidents located 9 regions across the country.”
Emphasizing that they have taken initiatives before the relevant Ministries to solve the problems of farmers, Bayraktar added, “We conveyed the problems of our tomato producers to our relevant Ministries. We expect the problems we have reported to be resolved as soon as possible.”