What should be the political economy of meat and milk?

teacher. Dr. Written by Mustafa Kaymakci

The conversion of the Meat and Fish Corporation to the Meat and Dairy Corporation was completed on April 27, 2013.

The institution would assume a regulatory and support role for the livestock sector within the framework of the State’s general livestock policy, and would continue its activities in the public interest by contributing to the establishment of perfect conditions of competition in the sector within the framework of the rules of the market economy.

Has the meat and fish establishment fulfilled its functions for the public good?

The institution did not exercise its functions in the public interest. On the contrary, what has been done?

The institution did not intervene in the formation of meat and milk prices in favor of the producer. Thus, the interests of farmers could not be protected in an economy dominated by milk and meat cartels.

· During periods when production of raw cow’s milk was high, it did not make structural arrangements to convert the milk into other products.

No special support has been granted to producers who market their milk to cooperatives in order to encourage the organization of the farmer.

The DIR (internal processing diet) should not have been allowed in meat and milk, it was allowed.

· The dose of milk was imported based on world stock prices.

· The institution has not intervened in all regulations concerning animal production, including animal husbandry and health protection services.

· The support provided to sheep and goats was not provided adequately. It was misunderstood that the meat deficit could be met by increasing the number of cattle. This misconception persists. However, the question that Turkey’s natural pastures are suitable for sheep and goats rather than cattle has been ignored.

In short, the farmer could not make money because of foreign-dependent agricultural policies targeting the interests of the import lobby. Ongoing imports have negatively affected animal production. Because with each import carried out, the stockbreeders became poor, the number of animals decreased and our animal production decreased.

Imports have benefited the EU/US monopolies as well as the import lobby. They got rich. In other words, the poor Turkish farmer helped the rich Western farmer.

Cow breeding companies have sold their productive cows and sales continue. Farms were about to close because of their debts. The consumer cannot reach meat and milk either.

WHAT SHOULD BE THE ECONOMIC POLICY FOR MEAT AND DAIRY PRODUCTS?

Structural solutions are needed to increase meat and milk production, apart from state intervention in the market.

Among them:

Ways to increase the livelihoods of small and medium agricultural enterprises should be followed. Loans should be given to small and medium enterprises, not to the non-agricultural sector and large farmers. The reason is as follows; In Turkey, these companies make up the majority of businesses. Their elimination has fueled unemployment and distorted income distribution.

·In addition to the agricultural public enterprises which have been privatized and some of which have been closed, which are directly linked to animal production; Dairy Industry Corporation, Feed Industry, Wool and Mohair Joint Stock Companies should be reopened. The IHC should be made more functional.

· VAT and SCT should not be levied on inputs such as feed, medicine and fuel.

Importance should be given to the improvement of pastures. Do not resort to converting pasture to fields and prevent misuse of pasture. In addition, a food office should be established. Let’s say that while it’s your turn. It is not correct to approach the nutrition of our animals by emphasizing factory food. The most important thing is that cattle and sheep should be fed grass weight (roughage) due to their structural characteristics. The second is that we depend on foreign sources in terms of raw materials to feed the factories.

· Make industrial producers through cooperatives. The opinion according to which “the producer can sell the product which he manufactures to the industrialist and it is transformed in the factories of the industrialist, the producer cannot be an industrialist” is now called and the opinion according to which “the added value can only remain in the producer if the producer becomes industrial” should predominate. Otherwise, it is clear that it is not possible for producers to deal with manufacturers who have become oligopolies. VAT on goods produced by existing milk processing cooperatives should be reset.

· Provide opportunities for farmers to market their products through cooperatives.

An effective fight against the informal economy must be waged.

The import of all kinds of agricultural products, including animals, should be prohibited.

Animal breeding studies should be considered important. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry should carry out joint improvement studies with livestock associations and universities.

I end my article thus: My suggestions are debatable. However, the negative point at which we have arrived is clear. Neither the farmer nor the consumer are satisfied. The policies followed so far have brought us to this situation. Basically, ways to increase the welfare of small and medium agricultural enterprises have not been followed. If this policy continues, it will be even more difficult for us to find meat and milk.

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