Turkey’s Chamber of Agriculture Union (TZOB) chairman Semsi Bayraktar, expresses the need to reduce imports by increasing the production of garlic, “Taskopru garlic produced by us sells for €1.50-1.80 a kilo, Chinese garlic is being imported for €2.87. Despite the reasonable price of domestic garlic, around 4,000 tons of imports are still being made, which is not right,” he stated.
China first in the world for garlic, Kastamonu first in Turkey
In 2013, 24.3 million tons of garlic was produced in the world, 80 percent was produced by the Chinese, India produced 5.2 percent, and South Korea followed with 1.7%, explains Bayraktar, adding:
“Behind China, India and South Korea for garlic production comes Russia, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Uzbekistan. Our country has a 0.4% share of world production and comes in 17th place. In the 2007-2012 period, our average annual production was 80,000 tons of garlic, in 2013 87,000 tons, and 91,000 tons in 2014. This year production is estimated at between 95-96,000 tons. The province of Kastamonu produces the most with a 21.8% share. Kahramanmaras produces 12.8%, Gaziantep 11.7%, Karaman 6.3%, Aksaray 6.2%, Balikesir 5.8%, Hatay 4.6%, Tokat 4% followed by Adiyaman with 3.5%."
All dried garlic and 90% of processed bought from China
There is the potential to further increase production, but in spite of this the need is met with imports, Bayraktar provided the following information:
"For the dried, fresh and processed 3,896 tons of garlic we imported in 2014, $10,940,432 was paid. 2,676 tons of dried garlic and 1,193 tons of processed garlic were imported. All imports of dried garlic and 90% of processed garlic imports came from China. Despite the existing production potential of our country, we import and support manufacturers in other countries. It’s not just our manufacturers who are losing out. Our country suffered economic losses due to the loss in foreign exchange. If the production is increased there will be no need to import.”
In order to control imports of garlic the Ministry of Economy has maintained surveillance applications since 2006, for fresh and dried garlic this costs $2,000 per ton, for imports of processed garlic it costs $3,000 per ton. In 2014 the cost for processed garlic increased to $4,000 per ton.
To stop Turkish manufacturers losing out and to prevent the loss of currency exchange, Bayraktar concludes that Turkey needs to increase domestic garlic production.