The Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO) organized a “Cotton Workshop from field to Brand” for cotton, which is the raw material and added value of many sectors, especially textile and ready-to-wear, with nearly 28 billion dollars of exports and more than 1 million jobs. The report of workshop which aimed to offer contribution to sustainable growth and development of Turkey’s economy with the participation of representatives of sector revealed a new comprehensive policy requirement for cotton production. In “Cotton Workshop Report from field to brand” prepared for the product defined as “white gold” for agricultural and industrial, it is emphasized that Turkey could not sufficiently use her power though she can be the world’s most efficient producer of cotton.
10 policy suggestions to regain Turkish cotton’s strength
It was stated that due to factors such as land division, migration and support policies, the cotton planting area has decreased by 30 percent in the last 20 years to 5 million decares and is expected to decrease by 35 percent in 2020. The top 10 Policy Proposals which have high urgency and power of influence in order that Turkey, producing almost 80 % of GMO-free cotton in the world, will prevent decline of cotton and be a global have been taken in the report. Among the suggestions; there have been subjects such as being a strategic product of cotton, establishing a support system that prioritizes quality and sustainability and protects cotton against alternative products and price fluctuations, educating farmers on irrigation, fertilization, spraying and harvesting, and giving information about all processes, modernizing production, harvesting and ginning processes, and promotion of “organic” and “good cotton” production.
Özhamaratlı: “It is very important to increase production and cultivation quality”
ISO Vice Chairman Irfan Özhamaratlı, stressing that the Brand Cotton Field Workshop report revealed Turkey’s cotton reality in many titles, said: “When agriculture, production and marketing are considered together, cotton, exports about 28 billion dollars and provides employment of more than 2 million and is the main raw material of our textile and ready-to-wear industry, is one of the most strategic agricultural products of our country and for this reason, it deserves every effort and support. If our suggestions in the report which we prepared for cotton called “White gold” are implemented urgently, it will provide the production costs to be decreased, increase productivity, quality and value added, decrease the need of import and the sector to make more contribution to country economy and export.”
Turkey is leading producer for productivity
In the preamble of “Cotton Workshop from Field to Brand” report, the data and developments concerning the current cotton production in the world and Turkey took place. Accordingly, cotton, which is close to 1.5 dollars per kg due to Covid-19 outbreak, which is provided by nearly 250 million people in the world, is produced in Aegean, Çukurova and Şanlıurfa regions in our country. The cultivation fields are decreased from 7.6 million decares in 1998 to 5 million decares in 2019 due to some reasons such as alternative products, fluctuation of prices, support policies, migration to cities and land division. It is still expected that the cotton fields will be fallen around 35 percent in 2020 in Turkey. However, the yield per-hectare rose about 60 percent in the last 30 years in Turkey, which is a leading manufacturer in terms of efficiency.
Turkey ranks sixth among cotton producer countries
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization data, Turkey is taking place in sixth rank with 976 thousand tons of cotton production, and realizing the 3.5 percent per year in world cotton production. The cotton export of Turkey, which is in second place with 762 thousand tons of import per-year after China, is at the level of 105 thousand tons. Turkey is producing about 80 percent of non- GMO cotton in the world.
The number of farmers who produced good cotton last year reached 3,299 in our country, where the understanding of Organic and Good Cotton production became increasingly widespread. The size of the land with good cotton cultivation was 53 thousand 400 hectares. However, the wrong applications at all stages of cotton production in Turkey are done. The faults and problems were declared in the report in 16 items. Among them; some faults such as decreasing cultivation areas, low quality, small scale, lack of cooperatives, farmer’s training and information needs, irrigation, fertilization, spraying and harvest were included.
In the “Policy Recommendations” section at the end of the report, 10 items with high urgency and impact power in overcoming the problems were included. In the report, which stated that the state’s support policy for cotton must be reviewed it was declared that the farmers, industrialists and consumers will benefit from new cotton new cotton production policy.