His Excellency Ahmet Eşref Fakıbaba, The Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, has noted that, just like the other areas, Turkey aims to make its domestic production sufficiently and to be a net exporter in the livestock sector.
In his statement, the Minister Fakıbaba has made evaluations regarding livestock supports given during the terms of ruling Justice and Development Party.
Stating that the livestock sector is one of the crucial sectors not only for present day but also for the future, the Minister Fakıbaba has emphasized that self-sufficiency in animal production, mainly for red meat is a primary objective.
The Minister Fakıbaba pointed out that significant progress has been made in the livestock sector thanks to the consistent policies implemented in line with this aim. "We have increased livestock support accounting for 83 million TL in 2002 up to 3,3 billion TL previous year. We have provided a total support of 24 billion TL for livestock sector during the terms of our government. We have given grants of total 6,5 billion TL for the investments in rural areas from national sources and EU Funds. We have provided grants of 770 million TL for investments directed to both processing and marketing in the livestock sector." the Minister noted.
Recalling that they have initiated Young Farmers Project in 2016 in order for young population to invest in the rural areas and to scale up employment in the countryside, the Minister Fakıbaba stated: "We have let around 31.000 young farmers use the grant of 933 million TL between 2016 and 2017 in return for their projects. 723 million TL of this grant went to bovine and small ruminants raising projects. Within the scope of these projects, we have delivered 104.099 bovine to 17.698 young farmers and 240.551 sheep and goats to 6.404 young farmers. We maintain to support the projects of our young farmers also this year."
"We support the production of forage crops"
Drawing attention to the role of fight against animal diseases in the increase in the number of animals, the Minister Fakıbaba has mentioned about the support up to 750 TL for the registered and systematically vaccinated calves which are at least 4 months old. Recalling that they have declared this year as the "Year of Prevention of Calf Mortality" in order to raise healthy calves and to prevent calf mortality, the Minister Fakıbaba has noted that all the vaccines administered within this context are free of charge".
Stressing that they support the production of forage crops as an important input for livestock sector the Minister stated that: "This year, we have increased production and use of forage crop seeds 100 % and production support for forage crops 30-50 % compared to the previous year. "In our 30 provinces declared as the pasture breeding zones, we will provide additional 25 % support for those cultivating products within the scope of forage crop supports".
Underlining that they have provided 4 billion 530 million TL in the last 15 years for the forage crop production, the Minister Fakıbaba noted: "We have removed VAT of 8 % received from feed. We have included livestock sector into the scope of "zero interest rate loan" and have provided interest free credit of 10 billion TL since 2010. I am constantly repeating that there is no meat without feed. Therefore, we attach importance to meadows serving as the storage of coarse fodder."
"Pasture improvement is scaling up"
Stating that pastures are the insurance of sustainable livestock sector, the Minister Fakıbaba, noted that they have speeded up the pasture improvement and completed the task of pasture improvement in an area of 6,4 million decares and this year started a task in an area of 2,7 million decares.
Stating that they have maintained grants of 50 % for the activities on the establishment of breeding bovine and small ruminant production centers, "After all the supports and tasks, the number of bovine between 2002 and 2017 has reached up to 16 million heads from 10 million heads and the number of small ruminants has climbed to 44 million heads from 32 million heads." the Minister Fakıbaba noted.
Citing that the carcass yield for cattle has gone up to 274 kg from 185 kg, the Minister Fakıbaba pointed out:
"Along with this increase, our red meat production has reached up to 1,2 million tons from 420 thousand tons. Just like the other areas, we aim to our domestic production sufficiently and to be a net exporter in the livestock sector. Thus, we are working on new projects round the clock."