FBA 14: May / June 2007
Meat production in Turkey
still some way to go...
by Ebru Ozguz
TURKEY'S livestock sector plays a sizeable role in the nation's agricultural economy and socio-economic development. Livestock accounts for approximately 29 percent of the value of all agricultural production and contributes to the economic development of rural households. Seventy percent of all rural farming households in Turkey own livestock, where sales from milk, animal products and crop fertilizer contribute to farmer incomes.
Livestock production has fallen at an annual rate of 50 percent for all livestock. This was compounded from declines in production of 34 percent for cattle, 90 percent for buffaloes, 48 percent for sheep and 94 percent for Angora goats. Lower incomes and high consumer prices relative to other countries have generally discouraged the consumption of animal products.
As a result, per capita consumption of milk and red meat products has fallen. Meat consumption has changed over time, moving from beef, veal, lamp, mutton and goat towards more poultry and fish due to shifting dietary preferences, costs and higher income. A subsequent decline in the number of small and large ruminants may also reduce the sustainable potential of Turkey's agricultural sector.
Just as livestock products are important income sources for many rural farmers, so the family-owned farm is the basic unit of agricultural production, and family members provide most of the farm labour. Agricultural censuses, conducted once a decade, provide information on the number and size of holdings on the basis of large sample surveys.
Since the 1990s, the trend has been a decline in the total number of farms while average farm sizes have increased. Based on figures from a 2003 statistical yearbook for Turkey, there were 3.08 million farms with an average size of 59.9 acres each in 2001, compared with 4.09 million producers farming an average of 56.8 acres each in 1990.
The meat sector provides employment for slaughter, marketing and processing. Livestock lends increased economic stability to farm households, acting as a cash buffer, capital reserve and hedge against inflation.
Where the action is
by Daphne TAN
IN MODERN husbandry, producers have begun to appreciate the role of acidifiers as a cost-efficient and reliable means by which to enhance animal performance.
Commonly defined as single or multi-acid ingredients added to feed or water for the purpose of lowering pH levels, acidifiers are widely acknowledged today as a viable alternative to antibiotic growth promoters or AGPs. Besides reducing bacterial growth and mould in feedstuffs, acidifiers have been proven successful in controlling the proliferation of pathogens like E. coli and Salmonella in the gut of animals, and also when used in combination with other feed additives.
As AGPs become less accepted among leading meat producers, the use of acidifiers, particularly in rearing swine, has continued to attract considerable interest.
This interest is fast spreading to other monogastric animal production sectors such as poultry and aquaculture, and across markets, from Europe to Asia and the Americas, notes Dr Christian L¡¡¨¬¹ckstädt. As the product manager who spearheads the acidifier line for animal nutrition company Biomin, Dr L¡¡¨¬¹ckstädt says that usage applications for acidifiers will continue to grow.
by Fil OLIMPO
FOR "an industry struggling from business losses and hostile market conditions", as a US report describes it, the newly signed free trade agreement (FTA) between Thailand and Japan has injected a breath of fresh air into the ailing Thai poultry industry.
As the trade accord has yet to be ratified by the Japanese Diet or parliament, full implementation may not take place till late this year at best. But local poultry producers in Thailand are already beginning to feel upbeat.
Under the agreement, tariffs for chicken would be reduced to zero. Industry leaders are already projecting a 25 to 30 percent surge in exports to Japan. Thailand currently exports about 150,000 tonnes of processed chicken worth about THB20 billion (about US$615 million) to Japan annually.
Japan is Thailand's biggest poultry buyer. In early 2004, Japan imposed a ban on poultry imports from Thailand following an outbreak of the deadly bird flu disease in the country. But imports of cooked Thai chicken resumed after an inspection of Thai chicken processors by Japanese teams of experts a few months later.
In another whiff of victory that came several months earlier, the European Union granted Thailand an export quota of 252,643 tonnes of uncooked chicken at a lower tariff than earlier announced. The EU banned raw chicken imports from Thailand in 2004, right about the time the ban imposed by Japan had came into effect.
But Thai chicken exports to the EU have been hampered by the continued appreciation of the Thai currency, the baht against the US dollar. A very strong baht has made the country's export products, including chicken, more expensive and therefore less competitive in the foreign market.
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