"In terms of wheat production, the quality of the wheat is also important apart from being sufficient. This had been neglected for years and it causes great material loss. Although it is within the scope of DIR, 30 million tons of wheat were imported in Turkey within the last 20 years. In other words, we support the farmers of external basins with the resources of Turkey."
Fatih R. ALAYBEYİ
Konya Ticaret Borsası
Wheat is a strategic product which affects 20 million citizens directly, and which has economic and social indirect effect on Turkey, and it is the most speculated crop. The agricultural demand of wheat is less when compared with other food items, it is easier to store and process, and it is a protein resource for cheap and proper energy and with partial biological values; which brings it a special position among other crop types. These characteristics of wheat and its usage and consumption have increased the studies on production and product variety. Aside from being a food item, wheat has the function of being a significant raw material for animal feed and other industrial utilities; and the share of those increase. This sectoral variety necessitates the increase of production amount, variety and quality.
Food industry is evolving into "market" and "technology". From this perspective, wheat production should be formed in a way to be compatible with the world and to be sustainable. In order to achieve this, stakeholders and decision makers must be in a constant and effective dialogue.
There are more than 200 wheat types registered and production licensed in Turkey. But, the number of types in the production are counted by tens. Especially in Central Anatolia and Gecit Regions where most of wheat production is implemented; new types could not override the dominance of some old types in production and the share of new types in production remained at a limited level. The lack of types, which are obtained after a long time of reclamation with effort and cost is considered as an economic loss. We can mention different reasons for this. As the quality analysis require high cost, time and amount of samples; the quality analyses are not conducted in opened generations but in stopped lines and yield trials. This causes many high quality lines within the new generations to remain out of operation. Another reason is considering yield as the main goal for reclamation and neglecting quality. As a result of this, although the potential yield of breeded products have increased; no improvement was achieved in their quality parameters and recessions were witnessed.
Potential yield in new breed types has risen to 1000 kg/de for some types but the realized yields did not reach to 50-60 % of that. The negative relation between quality and yield that appeared after a certain level is a scientific fact revealed as a result of several studies. As a result of breeding programs where quality is neglected and the potential yield pushed the limits; types with genetically low potentials in quality can be produced. Quality is considered as a quantitative characteristic. The quality of wheat which is controlled by multiple genes and which has a complex heritage; is also effected from environment and breeding circumstances. The impact of genetic factors on quality and stability is very important; but the environment and breeding circumstances are also very significant. Hence, as a result of cultivating the same types in different environments by using different cultivation techniques; product with different quality is obtained. As the new types of products are not cultivated in appropriate circumstances with the required cultivation techniques; the expected result for quality cannot be achieved. The negative impacts of stink bug and wheat bug can also be named as an important reason of low quality. With the collaboration of our Stock Market and Provincial Directorate of Agriculture in Konya; important achievements were made against stink bug and wheat bug , but the problem is not solved for good yet.
Probably one of the most important reasons for low quality in Turkey is that the level of using certificated seeds is below the requested level. Following the "Project of Seed for Product Price" implemented in 2004; the export of wheat and wheat based products has resulted with positive for the first time in 2005; which proves it. The fact that a quality product cannot be obtained by using non-quality seed is a scientific fact also revealed by several studies.
The importance of accessing the information, qualified personnel, utilizing biological and mechanical technologies and production of new technology is very high for quality wheat production. It is compulsory to use the existing potential and determine the needs on a sectoral basis and meet the demands. This sectoral variety necessitates the increase of production amount, variety and quality. Therefore, by considering the national and international tendencies; efficient, quality, endurable and economic types need to be developed and provided to the user and consumer. The environment and population problems of the earth also make this compulsory.
In terms of wheat production, the quality of the wheat is also important apart from being sufficient. This had been neglected for years and it causes great material loss. Although it is within the scope of DIR, 30 million tons of wheat were imported in Turkey within the last 20 years. In other words, we support the farmers of external basins with the resources of Turkey. Turkey produces annually 20 million tons of wheat. But the quality fluctuates. When we say quality in wheat, we should consider money. Quality wheat means good amount of money. We need to know that the quality of wheat is important for farmers and for industrialists. Because quality wheat means quality flour. Flour sector needs to obtain the quality raw material for quality product from the national resources. In order for the Turkish wheat producers to have a say in world wheat trade; quality wheat in world standards should be produced, classification should be done accurately and price policies must be correct. By doing this, resources that will be transferred to external basin will be used within our regional economy and our farmers will be supported instead.
The importance of classification was revealed within Turkey due to quality problems experienced at production. As the wheat types have been set on certain standards; problems in wheat quality might appear. In addition to this, non-quality wheat imported causes unjust competition. Until now, definition of wheat for pasta and bread had been made in Turkey. We all know that this classification does not meet the requirements. In order to be ready for international competition, first we need to reveal the sectoral problems and solve those.
If we want to be effective and competitive in our sector, we need to accept that the criteria in world wheat trade is quality and we need to restructure our production accordingly. Therefore, support for quality wheat should be increased. With the support on quality, our farmers will show effort to obtain quality product. As Konya Stock Market, we continue our efforts for quality production in wheat. We should know that quality production is the result of a training work. The support and interest of our farmers in the trainings give us hope for future. Our farmers are doing their best to succeed. The only thing needed is supporting and encouraging quality products.