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Poultry Prices to Remain Level, Says Minister

by 5m Editor
24 February 2010, at 9:00am

TURKEY - Poultry prices will remain level despite exports to Russia, says the agriculture minister.

Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister, Mehdi Eker, has said poultry prices will not be influenced by a recent request by the Russian government to increase its poultry imports from Turkey to 500,000 tons annually.

Today's Zaman reports that Minister Eker, speaking to the Anatolia news agency, said export-oriented production is completely different from supplying the domestic market.

He added: "Firms in the Turkish poultry sector are also capable of meeting the rising [Russian] demand in a short period of time."

Hence, Russian demand for Turkish poultry will not affect domestic prices, he said, also stressing that its impact on the agriculture sector will be positive.

With regard to rising meat prices, Mr Eker said the current number of cattle being fattened is enough to meet the country's demand and that prices will return to normal levels without the need to import.

Asked about the high levels of pesticide residue in some agricultural products which prevent them from being exported, Mr Eker said problems related to pesticide residue have decreased significantly thanks to measures taken by the government and added that he hopes such issues will be completely eliminated in the near future.

The government recently increased the amount of money paid to farmers as part of an agricultural consultancy programme introduced last year that aims to solve major problems such as high levels of pesticide residue in produce. On 25 January, the European Commission on introduced a tighter regime for the control of pesticide residue in a number of fresh vegetables and fruits imported from Turkey, according to Today's Zaman.