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For the UK’s agri-supply industry, agricultural opportunities in Turkey are legion – which is why Europe’s fourth-largest agricultural fair is inviting UK companies to become exhibitors, highlighting the export potential in a fast-developing agricultural sector.
AgroExpo, in İzmir, Turkey, hosted exhibitors from 57 countries in 2017 and welcomed nearly 250,000 visitors over its four-day run. In February 2018, the organisers are hoping to increase that number to 60 countries and 285,000 visitors – and they’re particularly interested in reaching out to UK companies who see the value in a new market.
Turkey is a growing powerhouse in global agriculture. Agricultural employment accounts for about 20 per cent of the country’s workforce, and 6.1 per cent of the country’s GDP – a contribution that’s risen 40 per cent since the turn of the century.
Take dairy, for example. The sector produced 18.5 million tonnes of milk in 2016, putting it within the world’s top ten producers and ahead of the UK. Although there are still many small farms – average farm size in Turkey is about 5 ha – there are some 35,000 dairy farms in Turkey that have at least 50 cows, with many of those established within the last ten years.
Turkey gained the right to export dairy products to the EU in 2013, confirming the industry’s high standards and generating a demand for quality processing equipment and supplies.
The arable sector is also a significant player, with cereals a major crop. Thirty-five million tonnes were harvested in 2016, with wheat, barley and maize the largest crops. The country is a major flour exporter too, sending nearly four million tonnes abroad in 2015-2016, according to the International Grains Council.
With so many farm units in Turkey, the country has a very high demand for agricultural equipment. It’s the largest tractor market in Europe and the fourth-largest worldwide. As agricultural mechanisation is developing so rapidly there’s a solid demand for modern, up-to-date products that can boost output and efficiency.
Other countries’ agricultural industries aren’t standing idly by, either. There’s a lot of interest in the Turkish machinery sector from overseas. Erkunt, a top three manufacturer – which sells in the UK under the Armatrac badge – was acquired by Indian giant Mahindra and Mahindra in September, its second Turkish tractor acquisition this year. Meanwhile Italy’s Landini has signed an agreement with its Turkish distributor to build a production facility near Istanbul.
Red meat is another prominent sector – with nearly 50 million sheep, numbers are ahead of Britain but lower efficiency means Turkey trails the UK in sheep meat production. Pasture quality has a lot to do with that, but the government’s national action plan offers funds to any farmer who wants to improve their pasture. With some 15 million ha classified as pasture, there’s huge potential.
AgroExpo takes place from 1-4 February 2018, in the Aegean city of İzmir. For more information about exhibiting, to book space, or simply to find out more about Turkish agriculture, contact me at Agro Mavens: +44 20 3637 6636 or Adrian.firstname.lastname@example.org.