Erhan Özmen, Honorary President of GUSAD and Chairman of Özmen Un, said all must be alarmed for wheat, which is one of the most strategic food products for all countries. Özmen pointed out that Turkey should do whatever it takes to increase its wheat cultivation areas.
Erhan Özmen, Honorary President of The Southeastern Anatolia Flour Industrialists' Association (GUSAD) drew attention to the wheat danger waiting for Turkey in the TV program named Tarımsal Analiz and called for some urgent measures.
Veteran businessman Erhan Özmen stated that Turkey's wheat cultivation areas are shrinking every year and added, "While wheat was planted on 9.5 million hectares in this country in the 2000s, today farmers have fled from 2 million hectares and are no longer planting wheat. Today, wheat is being planted on 7.2 million hectares in this country. If no precautions are taken and the farmers are not encouraged with incentives, believe me, people will avoid wheat planting even more and switch to other products. When we carefully examine the figures of production and export as bakery products, we see that the wheat harvest remained at 15-16 million tons last year.
I am worried about my country for the coming years. Last year, we produced 15 million tons of wheat. This year we experienced very serious yield losses, particularly in the Southeastern Anatolia and Central Anatolia regions, due to the drought prevailing throughout the country. Production was at least 3 million tons less this year due to drought. In other words, I can say that our wheat production fell down to 12 million tons."