Blessed with vast fertile lands and a climate suitable for growing anything from hazelnut to tobacco, Turkey is rightfully rising in the ladder of the world’s largest agricultural producers. Ranked 1st in Europe and 7th in the world by agricultural production, the country also has a fast-growing food market which is also ripe for foreign investors.
The gross value of Turkey’s agricultural production reached USD 62 billion in 2013 figures, according to figures from the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock. The minister Mehdi Eker who spoke at the World Food Day event organized by the Turkish Food & Beverage Industry Association (TUGIS) said that the gross value of Turkey’s agricultural production rose from USD 23 billion to USD 62 billion in the last 12 years, taking the top spot in Europe. “Exports of Agricultural and food product exports saw USD 18 billion in 2013”, said Eker, adding that feeding a population of 75 million and 35 million tourists who visit Turkey annually demonstrated that food security was not an issue for Turkey.
Turkey’s agricultural product exports have already reached USD 11.6 billion in the first 8 months of 2014, up by 5.6 percent y-o-y. More than 1600 varieties of Turkish agricultural products reach 180 countries worldwide. Around 40 percent of the country’s total land area consists of arable land, offering a wide range of products such as grains, pulses, oil seeds, fruits and vegetables, cut flowers, poultry, milk and dairy products, honey and tobacco.
As part of its targets set for the agriculture sector by the year 2023, the centennial of the Republic, Turkey aims to be among the top five agricultural producers globally with a gross production value of USD 150 billion and USD 40 billion of agricultural exports.