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YUMAKLI: WE WILL FIGHT EXORBITANT PRICE HIKES!

Agriculture and Forestry Minister Ibrahim Yumaklı addressed Friday the issue of exorbitant price hikes, noting authorities would undertake the required steps against all the sectors identified doing this practice, highlighting at the same time they would continue to protect producers to ensure sustainable production.

Yumaklı, in his speech at the opening of the “Türkiye Agriculture Summit” organized by Turkuvaz Media Group, the parent company of Daily Sabah, outlined the significance of the agriculture sector worldwide, while providing information about investments in the sector, new technologies and the development of sustainable agriculture.

İbrahim Yumaklı

Recalling that global-scale events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine war, as well as this year’s devastating earthquakes that struck Türkiye’s southeast had impacted their discussions, the minister said these events had unfortunately changed consumer behaviors differently.

“For example, there was a TL 30 increase in carcass meat prices between the first and third day of the earthquake. You cannot explain this with anything, this situation started to be reflected in different things,” he said, adding they commenced to encounter an increase of issues defined as “exorbitant prices” related to pricing behavior.

“The process from seed to fork involves many institutions. What is important for us is that there is no problem related to meeting the food needs of the 85 million people in our country, plus tourists, and other temporary residents, whether short or long-term, without any problems,” he explained.

“In addition to all this, in the first 10 months of this year, we exceeded $25 billion in exports, and we will continue to sustain and even ramp up exports to reach $30 billion,” he added.

Olive oil

Furthermore, he highlighted concerns about exorbitant pricing, even in the absence of supply security issues, mentioning the fluctuations in the pricing of some products.

“Suddenly, we saw that pricing behaviour caused significant increases without any (particular) reason. We are working together with the Trade Ministry on this,” the minister warned.

Offering an example, he delved into the matter of olive oil, which he said was dominant on the agenda currently.

The minister expressed concern over the surge in olive oil prices, citing a record production of 422,000 tonnes last year against Türkiye’s needs ranging between 160,000-180,000 tonnes.

“The olive oil production from this year’s harvest will be approximately 180,000 tonnes. Even if we don’t have any in our hands, the product obtained from this year’s production will meet our needs 100%, and we also have stocks from last year. So why is the price soaring?” he questioned.

“The announcement of the price of a product with a 0.3 acid content that is not in circulation at all, suddenly caused prices to skyrocket, as if this were the base price of an average product,” he said. “Then we announced, the Olive Council announced that there is no problem with the supply, then the institution that announced the price clarified that it was misunderstood, but prices went up.”

“So what will be done? Together with the Trade Ministry, we will go after all the sectors we have identified,” he said.

“While protecting our producers to ensure sustainable production, we also have to take care of our consumers,” he vowed.

About İsmail Uğural

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