A prominent agricultural fair in the western province of Izmir is expected to create a business volume of around $600 million as a result of bilateral negotiations to be held on the sidelines of the event.
Turkey's largest and Europe's fourth-largest such event, the 15th Agroexpo International Agriculture and Livestock Fair kicked off Thursday and will last until Sunday.
Representatives of some 950 firms from 75 countries are said to attend the fair, which is expected to be visited by around 360,000 people.
Addressing the opening ceremony, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said the fair would further boost Turkey's commercial ties and would open the door to new collaborations.
The fair was said to have created a trading volume of $600 million last year. It saw an all-time high number of visitors – 337,240 visitors, including 7,824 foreigners – and brought together 854 companies from 70 countries.
Pakdemirli expressed his belief that the fair would conduce important gains between countries concerning the establishment of strong export links and promotion at international platforms.
Turkey's agricultural exports stood at just $3.8 billion in 2002, while it was up to 4.7-fold in 2019 and hit $18 billion, according to Pakdemirli, who said 1,827 agricultural goods were sold to 193 countries.
He said supports and incentives provided to the industry had an important contribution to the rise in exports.
"In the last 17 years, we have provided a total of TL 141 billion of agricultural grants and support to our farmers. As a result, our plant production increased by 22% to 120 million tons, our milk production increased by 146% to 20.7 million tons, our red meat production increased by 167% to 1.126 million tons, our chicken production increased by 200% to 2.1 million tons. Our egg production reached 19.3 billion units with an increase of 66%," the minister added.
Speaking of the research and development activities in the field, Pakdemirli referred to an electric tractor whose software and design was completely domestic, saying it was in the testing phase.