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“WE CAN CHANGE THE FATE OF HAZELNUT”

Press release…

The Eastern Black Sea Exporters’ Association (DKİB) held a “Hazelnut Sector Press Conference” with the participation of Mehmet Cirav, Sebahattin Arslantürk and Tahsin Büyükaydın, the leading hazelnut industrialists and exporters of the region, under the chairmanship of Ahmet Hamdi Gürdoğan, Vice President of the DKİB.

Ahmet Hamdi Gürdoğan, who made the opening speech, said that in that meeting where they meet with the doyens of the sector, they will discuss the problems and future of hazelnut.

The fate of hazelnut should be changed with incentives to increase direct yield…

Mehmet Cirav, Chairman of DKİB Hazelnut and Products Sector Committee, took the floor after the opening speech and said, “Although production is carried out in 750 thousand hectares, there is a production amount of less than 700 thousand tonnes. Türkiye’s average is 85 kg per decare, but in Trabzon province we cannot even find 50 kg per decare. With 85 kg yield, we are the country with the most inefficient production in the world. When the yield is so low, it is not possible for the producer to sustain this business with these production amounts and supports. It is essential for the state to find a permanent solution to raise yield. With 80 lira and 100 lira base price, this business cannot be solved.”

Mehmet Cirav

There is no chance to save hazelnut with the state’s area-based support…

Sebahattin Arslantürk, Vice Chairman of DKİB Hazelnut and Products Sector Committee, took the floor after Cirav and explained, “We are the country that produces the most expensive and highest amount of hazelnuts in the world. A sustainable export is not possible in this way. We have no chance to compete in this way. In countries such as the USA, Chile, Georgia and Azerbaijan, which produce outside of us, there has been a spike of nearly one hundred per cent in yield in recent years. Although they started production after us, they make mechanised production and productivity is very high. There is no chance for hazelnut to be saved with the state’s area-based support. Policies that will boost area-based yield should be implemented. With thinning and pruning, we can ramp up the yield up to 2 times in the same garden and the same fields. It is also possible to ramp up the yield up to 4-5 times if renewal works are emphasised.
However, a sustainable price policy should be established. In case of price fluctuations, intervention should be made as in dairy products.”

Sebahattin Arslantürk

The definition of producer should be redefined and inheritance law should be reorganised…

“According to TurkStat records, there are 600 thousand hazelnut producers. However, these are not the people who are actually engaged in hazelnut cultivation. No one makes a living from hazelnuts. People who come to their villages to collect hazelnuts from year to year, who collect hazelnuts in small areas divided by inheritance are considered hazelnut producers. Therefore, the definition of hazelnut producer needs to be redefined. The gardens are very old, the trees are 80-100 years old. The fact that the land is fragmented causes people to enter the garden from picking to picking,” Arslantürk noted.

Hazelnut garden

“We increased the yield 4 times in sample gardens”

Pointing out that it is necessary to raise awareness of the producers with sample gardens and to return the producers to the garden with the support to be given to production, Tahsin Büyükaydın, in his speech, added, “It is not possible to find a way out without rising the yield. Although the average yield in Trabzon region is 50 kg, we managed to get 200 kg of crop per decare in 20 decares of gardens we transformed.”

If the law is not implemented, regional incentives should be activated…

Taking the floor again at the closing ceremony, DKİB Vice President Gürdoğan said, “With the law enacted in 1978, hazelnut planting in areas with a slope of 6 degrees was prohibited and regulated. However, today hazelnuts are planted in the plains in the Central and Western Black Sea regions. For this reason, we believe that regional incentives should also be activated.”

Ahmet Hamdi Gürdoğan

An international company creates a monopoly and victimises the producer…

“We are not against the investments of international companies. However, these companies create a monopoly in the market and victimise the producers and enrich the middlemen. The producer, who entrusts his hazelnuts to the middlemen at a low price before picking his hazelnuts for reasons such as wedding expenses and school expenses, suffers losses and shoots himself in the foot, ” Gürdoğan concluded…

About İsmail Uğural

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