As the world’s top hazelnut producer, Turkey should be the first country that announces hazelnut prices and have a strong voice in setting these prices, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said.
During a visit to hazelnut producers in a village the Black Sea province of Düzce on Aug. 10, Kılıçdaroğlu said the producer price for one kilo of hazelnut should be doubled, as the current price is almost the same as what farmers pay to reap their yields.
“Almost everyone in this region makes a living based on hazelnut production. Turkey is the world’s top hazelnut producer. If our country is number one in this area then our country and our government should be the first in announcing hazelnut prices,” he said, noting that the producer price for hazelnut has slumped to 8 Turkish Liras ($2.3) from 13 liras ($3.7) in 2016.
“A representation from the local chamber of agriculture told me a couple of hours ago that the cost of production of one kilogram of hazelnut is 7.7 liras. If a farmer spends 7.7 liras to produce one kilogram of hazelnuts, to be paid just 8 liras, it means they are basically working for nothing,” Kılıçdaroğlu added, vowing to closely monitor the issue.
“I am calling on the government to quit daily fights and to focus on what our citizens want. They want to learn what the government will pay for one kilogram of hazelnut to make a living,” he said.
The CHP head said the producer price should be 15 liras per kilo at the current inflation rate.
Turkey accounts for approximately 75 percent of worldwide hazelnut production.
Turkey, the world’s biggest hazelnut supplier, earns revenues of nearly $2 billion from exports of the nuts on a yearly basis.
The country’s top agricultural association, TZOB, late in July asked for the Turkish Grain Board (TMO) to continue its hazelnut purchases, which it started last April.
Hazelnut prices surged almost 10 percent in early May after the government intervened to support the market for the first time in almost a decade through TMO, in a bid to counter a slump in domestic prices.