Food security threatened as frequency of droughts increases, association chief says

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ANTALYA-Anadolu Agency

Rising global temperatures and the expected increase in the frequency of droughts every 10 to every five years pose a serious threat to global food security, the head of the International Millers Association warned on November 12. operational (IAOM) Eurasia.

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Every 1 degree Celsius increase in global temperature reduces wheat yields by 6 percent, rice by 3.2 percent and maize by 7.4 percent, Eren Günhan Ulusoy told Turkey’s Grain Congress held in the Mediterranean resort town of Antalya.

“A rise of 2 degrees Celsius will put some 84 million more people at risk of hunger by 2050,” he said.

He explained that the area cultivated with wheat in Turkey fell below 7 million hectares last year, compared to 9.4 million hectares in 2001.

The same situation will continue next year, Ulusoy said, adding that Turkey has taken measures such as increasing stocks to support the grain sector.

He pointed out that rising transportation and energy costs around the world, coupled with higher demand for grain products and monetary expansion, has resulted in soaring prices.

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“The [UN] As a result, the Food and Agriculture Organization’s cereal index has reached an eight-year high, ”he said.

Turkey’s grain sector is growing

Bekir Pakdemirli, Turkish Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, said the country’s grain sector has been able to increase its productivity through improved research and government development initiatives.

“Over the past decade, our wheat production has increased by 40 percent. Maize and rice production stood at 6.5 million tonnes and 1 million tonnes last year, which are record levels for Turkey, ”he said.

Turkey’s grain sector increased its overall production by 3% to 37 million tonnes in 2020, he added.

Regarding the future global scenario, Pakdemirli said that global food and water needs will increase by 60 percent and 15 percent respectively by 2050.

“Export Champions”

Flour and pasta are the two “export champions” of the Turkish grain sector, according to Ulusoy.

While flour has been the sector’s main export for the past seven years, Turkey has also gradually become the biggest pasta exporter after Italy, he said.

Hailing the pasta industry as a “rising star of Turkey,” he said the country’s pasta exports had jumped 80% in just five years to $ 762 million last year.

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