A Turkish dairy farm being shut down everyday, says businesswoman

A Turkish diary farm has been shut down everyday and measures taken to save the day have no effect on livestock and diary producers, farm owner Funda Özer said during a television program on BloombergHT.

Özer, a goat’s milk producer in the coastal town of İzmir, said that despite her optimism in the past, she says there is now a negative outlook due to increases in the prices of inputs.

Turkish firms, including those in the agriculture and livestock sectors, have been struggling with increasing costs, as the Turkish lira has dropped by almost 40 percent against the dollar this year.

“All input prices have hiked in the past six months. But we could not increase our prices proportionally in response to that. Because there is a domino effect. If we increase our prices, the prices of products on the shelves will be increased by 2,5 fold,” she said. Özer said that, in case they increased the prices of their products, than consumers, whose purchasing power has been slashed profoundly, would become unable to buy diary products at all.

“In order to overcome those difficulties, we should be able to express the problems openly, clearly, and without being afraid of anything and should find and implement the proper solutions all together,” Özer said. 

In addition to own production, her farm also bought milk from 17 different other farms and if things remained intact, only 3 or 4 of those farms would manage to survive next year.

“Everyday another farm is shut down. Goats which produce a great deal are sent to slaughter houses,” she said. 

“I can’t tell people to be patient and all those problems will pass within a year. Because we should not install hope in people over fake information,” Özer said.

One of the most important problems of the Turkish livestock and agriculture sector is the lack of financial institutions with expertise on those sectors, apart from Ziraat bank, according to Özer.

Özer said that the government’s measure of resetting the value added tax on animal feed has no effect on prices. “As long as root causes have not been solved, measures taken to save the day does not make much difference,” she said.