Unrest in Europe offers opportunities for Turkey’s agricultural sector

Sefer Levent – ISTANBUL

The looming energy crisis in Europe and the war in Ukraine which is hampering production on the continent offer huge opportunities for Turkish agricultural exporters, according to people in the sector.

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There have been reports suggesting European farmers are stopping production and greenhouses are closing. But at a time when farmers on the continent are grappling with these challenges, producers in Turkey, which is not experiencing an energy crisis, enjoy a rather stable situation, which gives local agricultural companies advantages in the European market. .

The question, however, is whether Turkey will be able to maintain this position once trade returns to normal after the end of the war and what should be done to consolidate market power.

“Germany has been particularly affected. Agricultural production in the Netherlands, Spain and Belgium has fallen by around 30 to 40%. In this context, European supermarket chains are turning to Turkey to secure their supplies. said Mirbey Adam, who has been exporting fruit and vegetables to Germany for 40 years, noting that agreements have been signed with these supermarkets.

“Turkey now has a huge opportunity. If we can take advantage of the situation properly this winter, we can easily increase our fruit and vegetable export revenue from $3.5 billion to $10 billion,” he said.

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Adam expressed his optimism that export revenue could even soar to $35 billion over the next two years.

Türkiye’s geographical location also plays to its advantage, especially when it comes to exporting tropical fruits, according to Mustafa Ezici, who deals with the production of these products.

Tropical fruit production provides livelihood for many farmers in Antalya Province and Alanya District.

“The EU imports 650,000 tonnes of mangoes per year, of which 132,000 tonnes come from Brazil and 55,000 tonnes from South Asia. But shipping from these destinations takes between 19 and 35 days, while locally grown mangoes could be delivered to Europe in three to four days or to 80 countries in less than a three-hour flight,” he said, noting that Turkey’s main competitors are Israel, Egypt and Spain.

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