Türkiye’s flour companies are ready to handle the Russian grain to be sent to African nations if the plan goes through, say representatives from the industry.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last week paid a one-day visit to Sochi to hold talks on reviving the key grain deal with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.
Erdoğan and Putin mentioned a plan with Türkiye and Qatar to help African nations by supplying 1 million tons of Russian wheat free of charge.
Amid the news, the representatives of the Turkish associations have expressed local companies’ readiness to participate in the proposed initiative.
Türkiye is the world’s largest exporter of flour.
Turkish companies have enough capacity to process the Russian wheat into flour to be sent to Africa, said Kazım Taycı, the president of the Istanbul Cereals Pulses Oil Seeds and Products Exporters’ Association (İHBİR).
“We are closely following the developments nobody can do this better than us,” Taycı said. “We are ready to do our bit.”
The Agriculture Ministry and the Turkish Grain Board (TMO) will probably manage this process, Taycı added.
Türkiye has the largest flour production and milling capacity in the world.
The local industry has been taking part in U.N. initiatives to send products to Africa for years, said Oğuz Tuncay from Karahan Değirmencilik, one of Türkiye’s leading flour companies.
He agreed that the TMO will likely be in charge of holding tenders to process the Russian wheat.
“The technology and the [flour] capacity in Türkiye is more than enough to handle this job,” said Tuncay, adding that local industry ships flour to 140 countries.
Last year, Türkiye exported 3.4 million tons of flour worth $1.5 billion, according to Haluk Tezcan, the president of the Turkish Flour Industrialists’ Federation (TUSAF).
The industry aims to increase its exports to 4 million tons and generate $2.1 billion in export revenues this year, Tezcan said.