Inside the Wheat Cultivation and Export in Turkey

Wheat is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world. It is a herbaceous plant belonging to the Gramineae family and is in the genus Triticum. It is a basic food that enables humanity to survive. Wheat, which has been very valuable to people for centuries, is a plant of strategic importance. Nowadays, the Russia-Ukraine War has once again proved the importance of wheat. The security and independence of a country are directly related to the ability of its population to meet its food and energy needs.

Wheat is valuable both because it is used in animal husbandry and because it is an essential food for humanity. Turkey is among the countries producing this important food. It is an agricultural country and has fertile land. Turkey both produces and exports wheat. In this way, Turkey has an important position in the world regarding wheat. In this article, detailed information about wheat cultivation and export in Turkey is explained. 

Importance of Wheat

Wheat is one of the basic and indispensable food products of humanity. With the transition of humanity to agricultural life, wheat production also started. Many basic foods such as flour, starch, and bulgur are produced from wheat. The main ingredient of bread, pizza, pastries, and many packaged foods is wheat. Besides, wheat is also used in animal husbandry. Wheat is the staple food of animals. In addition, it is made from the stalks of wheat in the manufacture of paper and cardboard.

Wheat production and sufficient wheat stock are of strategic importance for every country. In particular, during the Covid-19 pandemic period, people have made excessive demands for products whose raw material is wheat. Therefore, after Covid-19, the cultivation areas of wheat have been expanded and the amount of agricultural support has increased. Finally, wheat is a very important food product in terms of food security.

Wheat Cultivation in Turkey

Turkey is one of the most important countries in wheat cultivation in the world. Turkey is a country with fertile land and climate diversity. In this way, strategically important wheat is also grown in Turkey. In addition, wheat cultivation in Turkey is supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

According to the data from the Turkish Statistical Institute, Turkey's wheat cultivation area constitutes 3.2% of the world wheat cultivation area in  2020-2021. Wheat covers 44% of the total cultivated grain area in Turkey. Turkey's wheat cultivation area is 69.2 million decameters in 2020-2021. The first ten provinces that generate 42% of this area are as follows; Konya, Şanlıurfa, Ankara, Diyarbakır, Yozgat, Sivas, Tekirdağ, Çorum, Kayseri, and Mardin respectively. Especially, Konya is the province known as the granary of Turkey. The climate of Konya is suitable for growing wheat. Therefore, Konya is the production center of wheat. 

Wheat Growth in Turkey

It is one of the most grown agricultural products in Turkey. Wheat, which has a substantial space in the agricultural sector, is an essential agricultural product for Turkey. It is an easy crop to cultivate and it grows faster in hot and arid climates. The regions where wheat is suitable for growing in Turkey are the Mediterranean and Southeastern Anatolia. 

Wheat Production in Turkey

Compared to the previous season, about a 1% increase was observed in the cultivation area of wheat from 2020-2021. Also, the efficiency of wheat increased by 6.6%. Depending on these increases, wheat production increased by 7.9% in 2020-2021 and wheat production reached 20.5 million in total. About 80% of the domestic use of wheat is used in the food industry. The leftovers are used in the feed industry and as seeds.

Wheat Export in Turkey

Wheat is an agricultural product that is affected by the social, economic, and security problems happening throughout the world. In 2019, there was an unprecedented covid-19 pandemic that affected the whole world. This pandemic has negatively impacted supply chains. People have shown excessive demand for products whose raw material is wheat. Also, sometimes the flour and pasta shelves in the markets were empty. Excessive demand caused wheat prices to rise rapidly.

In addition, the Ukraine-Russia war, which started in the first months of 2022, adversely affected the production and supply chain of wheat. The reason for this is that Ukraine and Russia are among the important countries in wheat export. Due to the war, there were serious problems in the supply of wheat. A grain corridor was created under the leadership of the United Nations to provide the supply of wheat, which is the essential food of humanity.

Also, Turkey is among the countries that will ensure the security of this grain corridor.  In short, all these things prove that wheat is a very significant agricultural product. For this reason, it is important to be a wheat-producing and exporting country. Turkey is among the countries that export wheat in the world.

Statistical Data on Wheat Export

According to the wheat report published by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in June 2021, Turkey has a share of 3.3% of world wheat exports in the 2020-2021 period. Turkey exported 6.6 million tons of wheat in 2020/2021. Iraq, Venezuela, Yemen, and Somalia are the leading countries to which Turkey exports wheat and wheat products.

In the 2020/21 production season, 58.6% of Turkey's wheat export consists of wheat flour and 34.3% of pasta. Other products consist of 6% biscuit, 0.3% bulgur-semolina and 0.8% wheat. The most important food product produced from wheat is undoubtedly flour. Turkey is among the countries in the first place in wheat flour export in the world. In the first six months of 2022, 1.35 million tons of flour were exported and a revenue of 652 million dollars was obtained. Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela, and Libya are among the countries where Turkey exports the most flour. Also, Turkey ranks first in the world's pasta export. Turkey exported pasta to 160 countries in 2021 and 1 million 370 thousand tons of pasta in total.