TODAY’S ZAMAN – Turkey’s 2014 wheat, barley production falls

Turkey’s 2014 wheat, barley production fallsTurkeyand#39s grain production fell in 2014, official figures showed on Thursday, hit by the Middle Eastand#39s driest weather in more than a decade, forcing the country to raise its grain imports.Wheat production was down by 13.

8 percent to 19 million tons while barley production was at 63 million tons, down more than 20 percent from 2013, the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) said on Thursday. As input costs between 2003 and 2013 increased by 400 percent, nearly 1 million farmers have left the fields, according to figures from the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock released in November This wave of agricultural producers leaving the sector is a threat to food security, experts had warned, adding 2014 was a particularly bad year for Turkish farmers.

The majority of farmers in Turkey are in debt and farming land that is still under mortgage, said ifti, a reality that has put farmers in a tight position amid disappointing yields and increasing input costs.Corn output was up slightly by 08 percent at 6 million tons.

Turkey has seen food prices soaring this year, the main driver of a stubbornly high inflation, as a region-wide drought hit crop yields in several countries. Deputy Prime Minister Babacan said Turkey had had the driest summer in 154 years and both the drought and frost earlier in the year had limited supply and pushed up food prices.

Latest official figures for Turkeyand#39s wheat and barley imports are not yet available but European traders say state-grain agency TMO has regularly opened tenders due the countryand#39s drought-reduced harvest. The country imported just over 4 million tons of wheat last year, according to a TMO report.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman