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WALNUT PRODUCERS JOIN FORCES TO PUT AN END TO IMPORTS…

Foreign dependency will end!

‘Strong support for the export attack’…

Walnut producers joined forces in Turkey, which imports more than 70 percent of its walnut needs. It was emphasized that with a protectionist policy, both the need for walnuts will be met and they can become an exporter.

Turkey is a very important walnut consumer. It is the country that consumes the most walnuts after China and Iran. However, it can only produce close to a third of what it consumes. More than 70 percent of the need is met by imports. Most imports are made from the USA and Chile. Imports from China are also increasing. Growers came together to end dependency on foreign walnuts. The Walnut Producers Association (CÜD), which has 1 million walnut trees belonging to its members and sets a production target of 20 thousand tonnes, expects the state to establish a “protective” strategy. Accordingly, it is stated that with a strong support of 10-15 years, domestic production of walnuts will both meet the consumption and reach a huge export potential.

‘Let’s use the potential’

Co-Chair of the Walnut Producers Association Ömer Ergüder said that Turkey’s walnut import has exceeded 250 million dollars at the press conference he organized during the walnut harvest.

Ömer Ergüder

Emphasizing that domestic production differs from imports with its quality and aroma, Ergüder said, “Tonnes of walnuts from California, Chile and China come with processes applied to withstand the long haul; humidity is reduced. These products, which have low taste, aroma and low quality, are gradually being familiarise with the society. Walnut is a crop that can make a comeback in 10 years, starting today and with a strong support of 10 years, we can close the domestic deficit and become an exporter.”

Explaining that California is the determining factor in the prices in the world walnut market, Ergüder stated that the domestic product is sold for 3-5 liras above it. Ergüder added, “Currently, the first harvest local walnuts are sold in the 33 – 35 lira price range. We expect it to reach 40 – 43 liras. For example, China; It does not produce walnuts professionally like California and Chile while grown in forest areas. A walnut that we do not even know how its conditions are and its quality. But large purchasing groups prefer them because of the affordable price; They are accustoming the society to both this low quality taste and these prices.”

Here are the expected supports…

Appropriate lands of sufficient size should be created.
A protectionist strategy should be established by rising the customs duty from the countries that are imported or transited.
Specialized customs should be determined in order to control the nuts entering the country illegally.
Appropriate credit support should be provided and maturities should be extended on a product basis.
With facilities such as crop support, the product should be registered and accurate data should be created.

By Duygu Erdoğan,

www.milliyet.com.tr

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About İsmail Uğural

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