USDA: Turkish biotech rules restrict poultry sector growth

High feed costs hamper Turkish farmers

A Turkish ban on genetically modified crops has caused feed prices to spike and is limiting poultry industry growth, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report cited on Agrimoney.com.

Turkey banned the import of genetically modified food and feed crops in October. By November, soybean prices rose 40% to $700 per tonne, according to the USDA report. Prices for corn gluten feed and distiller’s grains also increased.

Russia wants to increase its poultry imports from Turkey to fill a gap created when Moscow banned poultry shipments from the United States. But Turkish producers say they will be able to export only about 100,000 tonnes of poultry this year, falling far short of Russia’s 500,000-tonne order. Turkey exported a total of 115,000 tonnes in 2009, according to Agrimoney.com.

The USDA report said that Turkey will be unable to expand at the rate needed to meet Russia’s import demands as long as biotech crops are restricted. Turkey is expected to enact additional legislation in 2010 that would ban domestic production of genetically modified crops.

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