Banagladesh-Turkey
Cooperation in Cotton Production

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BY DR. MD. FAKHRE ALAM IBNE TABIB

 

Turkey is the unique country that bridges two continents in the world, one arm reaches out to Asia and other to Europe. The history and culture of Turkey attract millions of tourists from rest of the world. The agriculture in Turkey is the biggest sector among the economic sectors contributing 7.9% to the national GDP with 62.5 billion US$ in 2014. A total of 17.2 million peoples, which is 22.7% of the total population are involve in agriculture. Total agricultural land in Turkey is nearly 23.2 million ha with 6 ha average land holdings. Cotton, corn, rice, sunflower, apple, apricot, banana and citrus fruits are the major crops that grown in Turkey.


The economic size of Turkish agriculture with respect to world agricultural economy has risen to 7th rank in 2009 and first in the European agricultural economy in the same period.


Turkey is the second biggest apparel and textile supplier to the European Union (EU), after China, and is the eighth largest textile exporter in the world and the fourth largest apparel exporter. In which, domestic consumption of cotton is about 1.8 million metric tones. Turkey is also a major importer of cotton, which import 924.4 thousand metric tones of cotton in 2014. The production capacity of Turkish cotton fibre is about 846 thousand metric tones from 468 thousand hectares of land. Cotton is cultivated in four main regions- Aegean region, Anatalya, Cukurova and Southeastern Anatolia. Cotton is planted in March/April and harvested from September through November.


In Turkey, most of the cotton farmers are practicing mechanization in cotton planting through harvesting with a minimum farm size of 10 ha. Cotton production has achieved a new dimension with high yielding potentiality of open pollinated G. hirsutum cotton varieties in Turkey. It is ranked as the 3rd country in highest cotton yield in the world with a yield potentiality of 1810 kg/ha lint. Major contributors in high yielding potentiality are- better planting techniques, certified seeds, well equipped and economics of scale. Turkey's cotton farmers are experiencing high-density cotton planting system (HDPS) with 150000 plants/ha, which is the major contributing factor in high yield. It is also noticeable that Turkey didn't grow any hybrid and biotech cotton till the period. Nazilli Cotton Research Institute plays a major role in cotton research and development in Turkey. This Institute developed 37 cotton varieties and worked to improve cotton for high yield potential, tolerant against drought, water deficit, salinity and other aspects of cotton production since 1934. Turkey's cotton has got another dimension in organic cotton production and naturally colored cotton production. It has becoming the key player in organic cotton production after India in the world.


In comparison, cotton in Bangladesh is also an important crop for the small-scale farmers for revenue earning and major raw material for the textile industries. Bangladesh textile sector is the largest sector among the industrial sector and contributing 10% of the national GDP, 40% of manufacturing value and 77% of export earnings. This sector consumes 0.91 million metric tones of cotton fiber in it's 400 (approx.) spinning mills with 600 spinning units, 1740 weaving units, 2300 knitting units and 5000 RMG units every year. But domestic production of cotton didn't reached to the expected pick due to several reasons- i.e. low yield capacity & long duration of existing varieties, crop competition, scarcity of land for cotton cultivation and lack of improved or modern cultivation practices. Cotton research in the country didn't conceive desirable modern technologies due to lack of modern research facilities and appointment of adequate researcher. Bangladesh is cultivating open pollinated HYV and hybrid cotton varieties still per unit yield are low compared to Turkish cotton. Biotechnological research has just started in the country for the introduction of Bt cotton.


 

Bangladesh also a major affected country in changing climate with increasing saline affected areas and expansion of drought areas. Turkish cotton production techniques and technology is an opportunity in improving cotton yield and domestic production. Introduction of saline and drought tolerant variety from Turkey can adopt cotton in the changing climatic situation. A group of cotton experts from Bangladesh had recently visited the Nazilli Cotton Research Institute in Turkey and get aware of their cotton technologies. It opens a window for collaboration between the scientists of Cotton Development Board in Bangladesh and Nazilli Cotton Research Institute in Turkey.


Among the top 40 cotton producing countries in the world, 22 were OIC members and their share in the world cotton production is accounted for 26.2%. The major exporter and importer are lies with OIC cotton growing countries. Thus, OIC cotton growing countries are the major player in cotton production, export and import and also key player in apparel exports in the world. As the member of OIC, Bangladesh and Turkey can benefit by sharing the knowledge and ideas in cotton field and this cooperation can be extended to other OIC cotton growing countries. 
 

 

 


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