Agriculture in Turkey
Agriculture and Food
Thanks to its convenient geographical conditions and climate, Turkey is a leading country in food and agriculture sector.
Together with re-structuring efforts, privatization and a series of reforms such as reducing trade restrictions in agriculture sector starting in early 1980s resulted in creating present day domestic market, which is an integral part of the world economy.
Food and agriculture, a growing sector in in Turkey, constitutes 9% of total gross value added (GVA) and employs one-fourth of Turkey’s total work force.
Among the features which make the sector stronger, market size –which is closely related to the country’s young population-, dynamic private sector economy, high tourism revenues and favorable climate conditions can be mentioned.
Income levels in Turkey, which hosts a population of 76 million, continuously increase; thus make its market one of the biggest markets in its region while young population’s changing consumption habits increase domestic consumption.
Food sector has steadily grown in Turkey during recent years thanks to consumers who create increasing demand due to diversity of options presented by big retail centres. Increase in disposable incomes, change in consumption habits, increase in numbers of women employed in full-time jobs, resulted in an increase in demand for packaged and processed products such as delicatessen and frozen food.
Turkey is the leading producer of hazelnuts, dried apricots, seedless dried grapes and dried figs. Also, Turkey happens to be the strongest country in milk and dairy products production in the region. Additionally, while 11.500 is the total number of plant species in entire European continent, Turkey alone is estimated to host around 11.000 plant species.
While Turkey becomes one of the biggest markets for bakery products due to bread, which is one of the important parts of the eating habits in Turkey; dairy products such as milk, yoghurt, cheese, kefir and ayran, constitute irreplaceable parts of traditional Turkish cuisine. Although non-packaged products dominate the Turkish dairy products market traditionally and prevented a widely extended growth so far, they created an opportunity for the potential investors in the sector.
This potential make Turkey have a place among the best in the world as a place to choose as regional headquarters and supply center. Turkey asserts considerable hegemony over production and exportation of a variety of agricultural products such as hazelnuts, dried apricots, seedless dried grapes and dried figs in the international area. Aside from these, Turkish food industry is much better developed compared to Turkey’s neighbors. Additionally, Turkey is one of the biggest agricultural product exporters in Eastern Europe, Middle East and North Africa (EMEA); thus it has a great foreign trade surplus in this sector. With increasing export, Turkish agriculture and food sector has created a trade surplus of $5.6 billion in 2014.
Turkey provides a series of incentives for investors in agriculture and food sector. Support mechanism provided by the Turkish government includes advantageous regulations, taxing system, competitive work force and investment incentives.
According to McKinsey and Co, Turkey offers important investment opportunities especially sub-sectors of agriculture industry such as fruit-vegetable processing, animal food, husbandry, poultry, dairy products and functional food, fisheries and support products (i.e. cold chain, greenhouse cultivation, irrigation and fertilizers).
Turkey aims to become one of the five biggest producers in agriculture sector until year 2023. This assertive vision includes these big objectives below:
- Increasing the agricultural gross national domestic product to $150 billion
- Increasing agricultural product exports to $40 billion
- Becoming one of the five biggest countries in agricultural production
- Increasing the size of irrigable lands from 5.4 million hectares to 8.5 million hectares
- Becoming the leading producer in fisheries compared to the EU