This page features a compilation and selection of Turkish seed industry news briefs, summaries and leads, with an emphasis on events that impact or affect provinces, regions, counties, cities and locales in Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, or as it is known in English: the Republic of Turkey.
The news covers trends and events regarding seed regulation, testing, legislation, phytosanitary issues, intellectual property rights, biotechnology (genomics, gene-editing) plant breeding, agronomy and cropping, with original sources linked.
This page will be updated throughout the year, with most recent briefs listed first.
Additional Declaration for tomato, capsicum seed import requirement amended: As of January 31, consignments of pepper (Capsicum sp) and tomato seeds imported into Turkey must meet newly amended “additional declaration” requirements in pursuant to various criteria related to the variety’s resistance to Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV), and respective origin and testing certification requirements. Emergency amendments were made by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of the Republic of Turkey for tomato and capsicum in order to prevent the introduction into and the spread within Turkey of Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV). For full details on the criteria and requirements, see notice document on WTO website here.
Nevşehir Governor visits seed potato factory: January 2021:
The governor of Nevşehir İnci Sezer Becel recently toured and inspected the Gülşehir factory, R&D center and underground warehouse of Doğa Tohumculuk, a prominent seed potato production and research company.. More details in Turkish here.
Seed services regulation amended: January 2021:
The "Seed Production Regulation on the Amendment of Authority Transfer Regulation in Services” or “Regulation Amending the Authority Transfer Regulation in Seed Services” [auto translation] has came into force after being published in the Official Gazette on 13 January. The amended regulation is concerned with the fees related to the work and transactions of seed service providers and respective authorities, particularly with regard to electronic means. Read details in Turkish here.
Ag investments in Karacabey blooming: December 2020:
Investments continue to grow in Karacabey, which is attracting foreign and domestic industry interest due to its rich and fertile agriculture lands. While these efforts of Karacabey Municipality, which has undertaken important works in order to attract agricultural industrial enterprises to the district, bear fruit, after the decision of Japanese and Lebanese seed companies to invest, local firm, CMC Agro Tohumculuk has also decided to invest. More details in Turkish here.
Industry association to bolster Trakya region seed sector: December 2020:
Trakya Tohum A.Ş., which was established last year to fortify cooperation amongst various seed sector entities, institutions and organizations in the Thrace Region, plans to invest 13 million lira ($1.65 million), starting in 2021, to bolster seed R&D, trade and production activities in the Thrace region. The organization, according to this Turkish article, was established last year and is currently operating with the seed capital from 39 different legal entities. Supported by the Thrace Development Agency and Ministry of Industry and Technology, the entity was founded within the scope of the National Hybrid Seed Development Project.
Leading Turkish seed firm increases R&D budget: December 2020:
May Seed, which reportedly allocates 9 percent of its annual turnover towards R&D, determined that its R&D budget for the 2020-2021 season to be 24 million lira (about US$3 million). According to this article in Turkish, the company’s R&D activities will focus on increasing productivity, and breeding for climate resilience, (tolerance of and/or resistance to) drought and diseases. The firm business scope spans to more than 40 countries. In the above article, a chairman, Hamdi Çiftçiler revealed that the company’s expenditures in the 2019-2020 season were about 22.5mn Lirah.
Turkey domestic seed industry flourishing, touts minister: September 2020:
Bekir Pakdemirli, the Turkish Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, lauded the domestic seed industry during remarks at the award ceremony for the 11th "Agriculture, Forest and Human Photography Contest", which was held in September via video conference. On the topic of seed production the Minister said that Turkey had the world's 3rd largest seed-gene bank [sic], which is in Ankara. He noted that 96% of the certified amount of seed used in Turkey is native, while 94 percent was produced by Turkish firms. He noted that in 18 years, the value of seed exports rose from US$17 million to $150mn. Read more here in Turkish.
Amendment to Seed Authorization and Supervision Regulation
Amendments have been made to Turkey’s regulation concerning Authorization and Supervision in the Seed Sector, which lays down the principles for the authorization of legal entities who grow and sell seeds in Turkey. All the new amendments are listed in detail here in Turksih language. According to this article in Turkish news, a number of changes were made to the regulation. Among them concern the “farmer registration system”; now seedling producers may register under the greenhouse registration system or agricultural production registration system. Beyond this , changes are concerned with the procedures and jurisdictions for applications and issuing of documents, including certification and authorization for breeders, producers and processors. Furthermore, the amendments address regulations for seedling technology and equipment and the issuance of ornamental plant producer certificates for forest engineers; procedures for issuance of tissue culture, seed producer documents and certificates, as well as provisions for auditing and administrative sanctions.
The rise of domestic seed sector
A writer of Turkish news website Hurriyet.com, Hasan Bozbey, has penned an editorial highlighting the push in Turkey to boost domestic seed production. He writes about how one Turkish chemical company has refurbished an old textile factory in Orhangazi, repurposing it for seed production and/or processing, noting the new operations will involve local seed production on an area of 60 hectares. He then goes on to highlight other steps taken to boost domestic seed sector in recent years, citing growth figures in Turkish Domestic seed production since 2018, and recapped a project announced in February by the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, which will involve establishing new testing and breeding laboratories, and the training of 15,000 seed producers over the course of two years.
Turktob chairman rallies domestic seed sector to prevail in ‘covid war’
Chairman of the Board of Directors of Turkey Seed Union (TÜRKTOB) and the Economic Cooperation Organization Seed Association (ECOSA) Savaş Akcan has advocated to strengthen and reinforce the Turkish seed industry. Featured in interviews with Turkish news outlets in April, the Turktob chairman highlighted the necessity to continue to be more self-sufficient in seed production at a time when much international trade has been slowed or halted. Reiterating that the Turkish seed sector provides employment to hundreds of thousands, and stands to lose millions this year from loss in exports, he goes on to relay details about relief and grant programs being implemented at this time. His interviews in Turkish language can be found here on Antalya Son Haber, as well as on Milliet.com, here and here.
DECEMBER 2019 & JANUARY 2020
TURKTOB holds 12th OGM
TURKTOB (Turkey Seed Growers Association) Turkey Seed Growers Association held their 12th Ordinary General Meeting in Ankara on December 21, 2019. Presided over by General Manager of the General Directorate of Agricultural Research and Policies Mr. Özkan Kayacan, Dr. Suat Yilmaz, Deputy General Manager of Crop Production, Head of Nursery and Seed Affairs Department of General Directorate of Forestry, Fahrettin Ay, Chairman and members of the Board of Directors of TÜRKTOB and Sub-Associations. Me Savaş Akcan Turktob President and Chairman of of Organization for Economic Cooperation Countries (ECOSA) gave an opening speech highlighting the strengths of the Turkish seed industry, which he said is represented via the association by some 53,500 members (entities)
ISF Eyes Istanbul for 2023 World Seed Congress
At the national congress of the Turkish Seed Federation (TSUAB) on 16 December 2019, the International Seed Federation revealed that it was considering holding the 2023 World Seed Congress in Istanbul in collaboration with TSUAB and Turkted, Turkish Seed Industry Association) 2023 will be a symbolic and significant year for the global seed industry, as it will mark the 99th anniversary of ISF and the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic.
All about the Turkey seed industry
Aydinlik.com.tr has published an article revealing various facts and statistics about the Turkish seed industry, as originally presented at the 2nd International Agricultural and Food Ethics Congress in Izmir last October. According to the data, Turkey seed trade is worth some $4 billion, while the foreign traded seed is valued at $500 million, including $260mn in exports and $240mn in imports. As for quantities cited, the country produced 1,060,000 tons of certified seeds, in addition to 4 billion seedlings, 1.7bn ornamental plants and 188.7mn saplings. The article provides data and information about the Turkey Seed Growers Association, and legal references concerning farmers rights (seed saving), as well as GMO and hybrid seeds.
Leading Turkish seed breeding firm link up with agri-tech university to boost R&D
Bursa haber news reports that the R&D Department of leading Turkish seed company, May Seeds (May Tohum) is linking up with the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Technologies at Omar Halisdemir University to develop training modules to enhance knowledge and equipment capacity related to basic genetics and plant breeding for young technicians and agricultural engineers working with the company and studying in the faculty.