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Time is ripe for exporting to Russia

The opportunity to export more food and agricultural products to Russia could certainly boost Turkish food exports.

Last year, Turkey’s global exports of agricultural products were valued at $17bn, of which Russia accounted for 7% or more than $1.2bn. This year, in retaliation for economic sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine, the Russian authorities announced a ban on foodstuffs from the European Union, the United States, Canada, and several others. Turkish farmers see this as a golden opportunity. The opportunity to export more food and agricultural products to Russia could certainly boost Turkish food exports. Turkey has a potential to raise annual food exports to Russia to $3 billion-$4 billion in 2015-2016. Turkey is ready to export poultry, fish, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, confectionery, cereals, legumes and oil-plants. Exporting food to Russia could also help make up for slowly recovering demand from the EU, Turkey’s biggest market. Shipping more fruit, vegetables and dairy products would also aid Tur key in plugging trade deficit with Russia. In line with Turkey’s rapid transition from an agricultural society to an industrial society, the agriculture sector has been changing and improving. Escalating urbanization and employment play a decisive role on food consumption. As the time spent at work and on the road gets longer, the energy and duration allocated to food preparation diminishes. Consumers, including those in Russia, mostly opt for the most practical and quickest solutions. The food sector is so advanced by now that it is possible to g e t chopped tom a – toes, crushed garlic, readymade salad dressing and all kinds of jam. And it is not only working people who prefer such products. Quite a few others choose them for their taste rather than their practicality. Fruit and vegetable products, the most important sub-sector of the food sector, embodies heaps of products from canned food to fruit juice, beverages and frozen fruits-vegetables. The sector is becoming more active in production and export.

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