Burak Koçak, Deputy General Manager of DenizBank Agricultural Banking Group, said that with the acquisition of Tarişbank in 2003, they have reached a high market share of 48 percent among private banks in 17 years in agricultural banking.

Emphasizing that each product group in the agricultural sector or even each agricultural product has its own dynamic and highly variable cash flow, Koçak said, “Currently we provide financial support to over 300 products, having an economic value and produced in Turkey.”

Koçak also said that these products differ from each other in many areas such as the need for credit, cash flow, income generation and ability to pay.

Stating that based on all these sectoral features, they divided them into two main groups as “operating” and “investment loans”, Koçak continued as follows:

“We make cost financing with working capital loans. We provide the necessary input financing for the agricultural activities that our producers will carry out in the relevant period. The product of this group that we can proudly highlight is the ‘Producer Card’. The Producer Card is the first agricultural card in the sector and is currently in the pockets of approximately 600 thousand producers. In fact, the Producer Card is not only a loan-lending product, we have changed the business model in the sector with this product. We have created a cycle between the supplier, financier and producer, in which all three groups will win. As a financier, the bank provides financing, the supplier reaches the customer and creates turnover and the producer provides a price advantage by taking advantage of the interest-free period up to 5 months. Here, we provide cost advantage by bargaining with large input companies on behalf of our 600 thousand producers. Thus, thanks to the Producer Card, our producers can get an interest-free period advantage of up to 5 months in fuel, feed, fertilizer and all agricultural input purchases.”

Koçak underlined that they bear the burden on the producers, albeit a little, by cooperating with all the agricultural stakeholders they do business in the sector of which importance has once again been revealed during the global epidemic.

Explaining that the number of contracted workplaces is around 17 thousand and that they cooperate with all stakeholders of the sector in the most important input items such as fertilizer, medicine, feed, seed, fuel oil, Koçak added, “From this point of view, Producer Card is almost like a cooperative with 600 thousand members and it provides very important advantages.”

“We see agriculture as a national issue”

Expressing that the second main group of loans are investment loans, Koçak explained, “We define investment loans as ‘loans used to develop and expand the business.’ This definition refers to a very wide range of products, from a simple field leveling loan to a large fruit plant loan, from purchasing machinery equipment. All conceivable products, even greenhouse construction loans, are included in this group. We are a bank that knows how to deal with the problems of our farmers, with whom we have developed very good relations in 17 years, as we see agriculture as a national issue.”

Pointing out that they act as a solution partner rather than a bank for farmers, Koçak said, “We do not only produce solutions in the field of financing, but we take care to serve as a personal advisor to the farmer at every moment of production with teams consisting mostly of agricultural engineers and the children of farmer families. As DenizBank, we endeavor to never turn our backs on the sector and the producers and we never stop supporting agriculture.”

Indicating that the awareness of the agricultural sector is rapidly increasing and the importance of this sector has been understood all over the world, Koçak made the following evaluations:

“As a bank, we are not only an institution that provides financial support to agriculture, we are organized to improve the production possibilities of our producers, increase their ability to access information and finally support them in growing their business. At the same time, digital transformation in agriculture is an issue we focus on. Our mobile application has been downloaded by up to 200 thousand farmers. This one is the most advanced application of the agricultural world with its agricultural production suggestions, the ‘Ask Engineer’ menu that allows questions to be asked to agricultural engineers, the function that allows field tracking from the satellite, weather, news, market prices menus and banking functions added soon.”

“It is one of the most advanced digital platforms of the agriculture sector in terms of consultancy and news broadcasting from Deniz to Soil, with its Facebook page with a 100 thousand followers, an Instagram account that allows us to bring the most beautiful agricultural photos to the urban audience and our website. Believing that we can make important contributions to many economic problems of our country, we consider agriculture as a national issue. From this point of view, although many handicaps are struggled, the agricultural sector has great potential,” Koçak concluded…

About İsmail Uğural

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