Feed industry is one of the most arguable issues in Turkish agriculture. This industry has been growing continuously for years. Turkey Feed Industrialists Association (TÜRKİYEM-BİR) Chairman M. Ülkü Karakuş says that the sector has grown by 350 percent in the last 20 years while reaching 25 million tons of production.
But of course this growth comes about together with serious problems. Increased costs due to soaring prices of some imported products really compel the farmers.
SEVENTH RANK IN THE WORLD
Karakuş tells about the performance of the industry as follows: “We have 25 million tons of compound feed production in 2018 taking the first place in the European Union. That means the seventh rank in the world just ahead of Germany. China produces 188 million, US is second with production of 177 million tons. Brazil ranks third with 69 million tons of compound feed production. India and Russia share 4th and 5th place with the production of 39 million tons. Mexico, which is one step ahead of Turkey, has an annual production of 35 million tons. But we expect at least 1 million tons more this year in Turkey. I do believe that this increase will continue. Meanwhile small businesses have been replaced by large businesses. Thus Turkish feed sector has a turnover of 35-40 billion Turkish Liras.”
COSTS DRIVE HARD
The most important factor affecting feed costs are raw material prices quite obviously. In the face of this situation Karakuş notes: “Last year we had considerable exchange rate
increases and also fluctuations affected feed raw material prices so strongly. It increased by 34 percent compared to 2017. The most significant increase in prices occurred in September 2018. Average prices of raw materials soared by 57 percent according to the first month of last year. A stable period is expected throughout this year. Yet problems of livestock breeding leads to a decline in sales.”
PRODUCTION SHOULD RISE MORE
“In the last 20 years in Turkey, cereals, oil seeds and feed production increases are significant. But our increase in grain within this period only 1 percent. We see 67 per cent of oilseed production while the increase in compound feed production reached 358 percent. However our imports rise by half a million tons every year, equivalent to 3.5 billion dollars. On the other hand our plant production can not catch up with the feed industry which has been growing rapidly. We also think about what should be done. For instance life in the countryside in Turkey needs to be encouraged. Agricultural lobby activities should be strengthened, university and industry cooperation must be developed definitely” he concludes.
In the meantime, the statement that draws attention is that to ensure sustainability in agriculture livestock must be met with grass!