Turkey to close 13 sugar factories
Turkey’s State Planning Organization (DPT) has raised the possibility of closing 13 sugar factories that have been recording significant losses over the past few months. DPT released a report stating that the government-owned factories are using outdated technology and are running high production costs, the Turkish news agency Anatolia reported.
The nation’s Union of Sugar Beet Growers Co-operatives (Pankobirlik) and the Ministry of Industry are opposed to the idea, blaming the low production levels on socio-economic conditions in the provinces where the factories are located. Pankobirlik is the largest nongovernmental organization (NGO) in Turkey with its 650,000 members.
There are 30 sugar refineries currently operating in Turkey, 25 of which are government-owned, three belong to Pankobirlik and only one is privately-owned. The remaining two sugar factories are jointly-owned by Pankobirlik and state-run refiner, Turkseker.
A total of 21.9 million tons of sugar beets were produced from 515 thousand hectares of land in Turkey in 1998. This amount fell to 16.8 million tons in 1999 and 18 million tons in 2000. Turkey annually consumes almost 2.5 million tons of sugar and three and a half million families earn their living by sugar-beet production. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)