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Turkey can be self-sufficient in durum wheat

28 November 20193 min reading

Piero Mirra, General Manager of Barilla Food, shared details of contractual and sustainable agricultural projects at the panel of ‘Sustainability Problems and Solutions in Turkish Agriculture.’ He said that pasta cannot be mentioned without durum wheat. He said that although Turkey needs 4,5 million tons of durum wheat annually, the yield will be around 2,5 million tons in 2019. “This will require substantial export. It is challenging when you think that Turkey is one of most important countries in wheat and pasta production in the world. We can make Turkey self-sufficient again if we implement right methods via inter-institutional cooperation,” he said.

Piero Mirra, General Manager of Barilla Food, made statements about the sector at the 5th Sustainable Food Summit organized by the Sustainability Academy. Piero Mirra shared the company’s approach to delicious, healthy and reliable food from field to table in today’s world where the sustainable food needs have increased and the contractual and sustainable agricultural projects:

TURKISH FARMERS GROW ALL OF OUR DURUM WHEAT Barilla has been conducting this work with farmers, academic institutions and experts for the last 20 years. These studies, which we have been conducting for almost a quarter of a century, have contributed greatly to us and to Turkish agriculture. One of the most important results is that all durum wheat that is the raw material of Barilla and Filiz brand pasta in Bolu factory is cultivated in Turkish land and by our farmers. Quality wheat is the most important part of the corporate commitment. Without durum wheat, pasta and even Barilla cannot be mentioned. Turkey needs 4,5 million tons of durum wheat annually, the yield will be around 2,5 million tons in 2019. This will require substantial export. It is challenging when you think that Turkey is one of most important countries in wheat and pasta production in the world. Turkey can be against self-sufficient if we implement right methods via inter-institutional cooperation. As one of the market leaders, we are able to supply all of our raw materials from our farmers in Turkey thanks to our sustainable agriculture practices. Without them, we could not accomplish this. Today, we are able to achieve this by supporting our 400 farmers with all kinds of information, data, and modern techniques.

WE LOWERED OUR FARMERS COST BY 15% In Turkey, we carry out many works within the sustainable agriculture projects we implemented. Thanks to the project, we increase both yield and quality with low input methods and experienced soil management. The farmer earns more while the environmental impact has diminished. Today, as arable agricultural areas decrease each day and the need for accessible and sustainable food increases, we collect the fruits of the project we carry out as a company. We have carried out contractual agricultural activities in Southeastern Anatolia, Central Anatolia, and Aegean Region and also in Thrace Region for the last three years. We have achieved great success in the production of durum wheat, which has come to a standstill in the region. We implement our sustainable production model based on scientific techniques in the Thrace Region with the support of academic institutions. With this model, we reduced our farmers’ production costs by about 15 percent while reducing our environmental impact by nearly 20 percent. We aim to transmit all these successful experiences into handbooks and to generalize this handbook with the support of information and technology. We will continue to our sustainable and contract farming operations in Turkey in coming years.

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