Despite producing some of the best quality cotton in the world, Turkey’s cotton output been declining, said the head of the Home Textiles Industry and Business Association (TESIAD) in a written statement.
“Turkey produces one of the world’s highest quality cotton. Our cotton production must increase up to 4 million tons by 2023,” said TESIAD head Yasar Küçükçalik, according to a report by a Turkish news portal.
He noted the country’s cotton production volume has declined drastically over the last 15 years and this has negatively affected home textiles production.
While Turkey’s annual cotton production was around 850,000 tonnes in 2002, this figure fell to around 550,000 tonnes in 2012, he said, adding the country’s annual need is around 1.7 million tonnes.
Turkey’s cotton acreage has shrunk by almost 50 per cent over last decade, he added.
“Turkey comes next after Australia in the average cotton field productivity in the world, although it has lagged quite behind Australia in terms of field volume and irrigation conditions. Despite this huge success of our producers and several subsidies by the Agriculture Ministry, our production has been declining. The industrialists who use locally-produced cotton should be supported and the quality of our cotton should be improved further,” Küçükçalik said.
He noted the annual production target needs to be revised up to 2 million tonnes in the medium-term and to 4 million tonnes by 2023 to meet the rising demand.