Subscribe Now Subscribe Today
Research Article

Analysis and Development Course of the Seed Sector in Turkey in Various Aspects

H. Kizilaslan and H.E. Onurlubas
Facebook Twitter Digg Reddit Linkedin StumbleUpon E-mail

In this study, the world's seed production and trade in Turkey with seed production, seed distribution, seed rates, seed to support, ovary foreign buying and selling are examined and the solutions for current problems are tried to be given. Seed production of products such as sugar beet, cotton, chickpea, dry bean increased except vetch in the period under review. Production of hybrid seed corn was 2.84 times, hybrid sunflower seed production was 3:35 times and production of paddy rice seed 3:33 times increased. In the period under review the amount of the distribution showed an increase in the rates of wheat seeds 52.72%, of cotton (delinte) seeds 27.79%, of hybrid sunflower seed 26.39%. Hybrid maize seed distribution increased 2.21 times, the distribution of soybean seed increased 2:08 times, the distribution of seed alfalfa increased 2.08 times, rice seed distribution increased 3:49 times. The overall distribution of the total amount of seed amount has increased by 36.97% throughout the period. Despite the increase in seed distribution, distributed seed amount was not sufficient to meet the needs of the rates. However, by production and marketing of hybrid seed corn and sunflower hybrids by private seed companies, it has reached the desired level of distribution. There have been major changes in terms of quantity of the seeds and seed products imported.Between 2002-2008, importation of field crops seeds increased 6.3 times, importation of industrial plant seeds increased with a rate 25.9%, importation of feed crops 17 times, importation of grass seed 93.7% and importation of vegetable seeds increased with a rate of 67.9%. There are also positive developments of seed export quantities and values of Turkey. Field crops seed exports increased about 3.2 times, the industry exports seed crops 2.7 times, grass exports 11.7 times and vegetable seeds exports 9.5 times increased. Despite these positive developments at export stage, Turkey's foreign trade balance of seeds, is in favor of development for import. At 2005-2008 period, wheat seed prices increased by 82.7%, barley seed prices 95.2%, corn seed prices 16.7%, sunflower seed prices 6.3%, potato seed prices 33.3%, alfalfa seed prices 29.4%, rape seed prices 87.5% and cotton seed prices increased by 40%. The manufacturers, who use certified seed should be supported to encourage using qualified seed and assistance should be increased. To increase the use of qualified seeds, barriers making it difficult to reach seed for producers must be removed and producers shall reach seed from the shortest path and the cheapest way.

Related Articles in ASCI
Similar Articles in this Journal
Search in Google Scholar
View Citation
Report Citation

  How to cite this article:

H. Kizilaslan and H.E. Onurlubas, 2010. Analysis and Development Course of the Seed Sector in Turkey in Various Aspects. International Journal of Agricultural Research, 5: 832-842.

DOI: 10.3923/ijar.2010.832.842

Received: January 08, 2010; Accepted: April 20, 2010; Published: June 26, 2010


Increasing efficiency in agriculture which is the main sector of the economy of Turkey depends on the dissemination of these inputs and to be used on proper technique. Advances in agricultural input prices, provides economic development and income level of agricultural producers. Therefore, the importance of input use is extremely large to increase production rates derived from the unit area (UTCA, 2000). At the same time Turkey's evaluation of its agricultural potential and converting speed efficiency increase, existing resources should be combined with advanced agricultural technology (Kizilaslan, 1996).

Seed is one of the factors which directly affect crop production efficiency and quality. Seed technology that is not dependent on other plants production techniques changes and is not showing a complex nature, shows quite clearly and directly the effect on production (UTCA, 2004).

Today, one of the indispensable elements of modern agriculture; quality seeds, can increase the yield up to 3-4 times by seedlings and saplings with the use of suitable breeding conditions. Also qualified seeds, seedlings and saplings, increases the chances of selling domestic and foreign markets of the product, thus it is also effective for producers to earn more income in the area of the unit. General characteristics of the seeds are determined by its genetic, physical and biological values. According to region's growing conditions, although these three values of seed obtained from other, sometimes one, sometimes more obvious in the product yield and quality as well as to affect the rate; genetic value has undeniable importance. At the ecology of the abundant rainfall and irrigation conditions, approximately half of the expected increase in productivity compared to dry cereal agriculture is provided by the varieties of genotype. Variety factor has an effect increase the efficiency level of 20-30% in dry farming system (Kun et al., 1995). Enormous resources and effort have spent to achieve for developing new varieties to bring new features to existing varieties, qualified seeds for this species, saplings and seedlings for farmers to produce from the beginning of agriculture until today. The main reason for these efforts, seed and variety have a very important role in improving quality and increase the efficiency (Genctan et al., 2005).

In this study, the world's seed production and trade, Turkey seed production, seed distribution, seed prices, seed supports, ovary import and export were examined and current problems for the solutions were tried to be given.


Seed industry, takes into various economic activities and relationships extending a long process begins with breeding or development of superior genotypes on new plant varieties from consumers to farmers for submission of after-sales service involving many private, public and NGO's role. In today's world, specialization and trade volume shows an increasing trend in all areas related to seed industry. However, natural, social and economic challenges faced by farmers earned livelihood from agriculture, as world agriculture such as intensive and extensive reconstruction, have inhibitory effects against the seed industry's growth. In many countries, because of insufficient agriculture-related activities and absence of the activities that can be considered as Standard, also due to the lack of information on world production and trade of seeds, estimated data is concerned about. There is no unique definition and classification of application, especially between countries of seed and vegetative propagation material. In most cases, seeds and products are considered in the same category. Between countries, the market breadth in terms of monetary considerations can not be performed healthy. Seed refresh rates of countries varies and especially in cereals more to the fore to, seeds of the monetary value shows differences between country (SPO, 2001).

The most important amount of seed and production in the world are the member countries of UPOV, OECD and ISTA. Ankara Directorate of Seed Registration and Certification Centre Institute are authorized by International Seed Control Laboratory Association (ISTA) and OECD in the issuing certificates. Turkey also is a member of such seed-related institutions ISTA, OECD, the International Seed Trade Association (FIS) (MARA, 2004).

By using high technology and genetic engineering in developing excellent varieties of the species in some countries such as European countries, USA, Canada, today it is possible to develop of superior genotypes and to supply to production. Varieties breeding, quality control of varieties, seed production and distribution to farmers are different in developed and underdeveloped countries of the world. Breeding crop varieties are used in all cultivated areas in Germany, France, Canada and Spain which have an important place in the world agriculture (UTCA, 2004).

Annual monetary value of seeds produced in the world today is estimated approximately 50 billion US dollars. Again, according to estimates, the monetary value of seed in world trade each year is approximately 30 billion dollars. In Turkey, every year, the total value of the certified seeds subjected to trade is around 250 million dollars (Acar, 2008). Thus, it is believed to be approximately l% 'i (0008), the subject of trade in Turkey every year as the amount of seed in the world seed trade is subject to total monetary value (PSD, 2006).

The US have the largest volume of domestic market, import and export. France, Germany and Italy have the highest values among European countries. Movement of seed and world trade has continuously increased. This increase took place more quickly than the national market seed trade. This is especially the case for the European Union. The increase in the global seed trade, trade in other goods carried out in parallel with the increase in the seed industry, this increase resulting from its own unique characteristics and dynamics.

All over the world, in recent years, experienced political, economic and technical changes in the real sense has resulted in a global marketplace. World Trade Organization, establishing a regional agreement, trade and economic cooperation and, ultimately, communication and transportation can be accessed along dimensions which eliminated national borders, enabling a world market of seed production in the real sense.

However, the international seed trade in the development of the agricultural sector and its unique nature of the seed industry play a encouraged role. Indeed, different geographies or countries of seed production, dissemination activities, climate and environmental conditions can lead to minimize the possible risks and to allow a steady supply is important for seed. Similarly, certain plant species belonging to the production of seeds in some countries has a comparative advantage than others have in terms of agro-ecological socio-economic aspects, both physical and economic sense (SPO, 2001).


Seed productions of some products in Turkey are given in Table 1.

If Table 1 is examined both, seed production of products except sugar beet, cotton (pile), chickpea, dry bean and vetch (common) have increased on the private sector and public sector. Significant progress has been made especially in areas of increased activity of the private sector seed hybrid seed production.

Table 1: Amounts of seed production in some products in Turkey (tonnes) (2000-2008)
Source: MARA, General Directorate of Agricultural Production and Development records. Various years, 2009

In the period under review the production of wheat seeds 25.36%, barley seeds 5.09%, cotton (delinte) seeds 19:45% showed an increase in the relative ratios. Hybrid corn seed production 2.84 times, hybrid sunflower seed production has increased 3.35 times. In the same period in rice seed production increased significantly and has a 3.33 times increase ratio. During period, the overall total seed production rate has increased by 42.20%.

Seed production in Turkey is performed by the public and private sectors. Initially given as a task of public sector, seed production services conducted in Turkey in the 1980s and then government policies applied, including within the private sector gaining a competitive identity (Celik, 2000). Imports facilitate high efficiency and high quality varieties of seed which could not be generated domestically and within the country producing the necessary infrastructure, tools equipment and operating inputs for the low-interest credit facilities to ensure the resulting company and the variety in the number of significant increases have been achieved. Despite these advances, some kind of private sector's share in the seed sector is not at a desirable level (Miran, 2005).


In Turkey, main encountered problems are seed supply and distribution of seeds. Seed production and distribution system has been linked to certain principles. Seeds produced or supplied are coordinated by the General Directorate of Agricultural Production and Development and distributed to farmers through public and private sector. Private sector performs distribution services by dealership systems, but public sector, these services performs through the dealer organization commissioned by the Ministry (Miran, 2005). The release in seed prices in 1982, Seed Imports Release in 1984 and in 1985 the Seed Grants Decree and with the appropriate policies got into force following them in Turkey, seed sector has entered into a restructuring based on the to the private sector. Establishment and development of seed companies in Turkey has accelerated with the impact of policies implemented.

Public agencies have focused on the plants such as self-fertilized plants seed production, wheat, barley, cotton and feed crops which are unattractive for private sector, while the private sector seed companies have focused on corn, sunflowers, potatoes and vegetables, hybrid seed production. Private seed companies using hybrid seed development technologies at their producing and marketing programs, especially in recent years, in addition to their own developed varieties, they give sufficient importance to the hybrid and standard varieties by the Research Institute as well. However, effective use of the private sector for promoting and marketing varieties developed by the research institutes and to make production faster; reducing external technologically dependence of Turkey seed sector and spreading the domestic use of technology are main key objectives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. By the law of Protection of Ownership Rights Breeding of New Plant Varieties, the private sector can also be directed to the self-fertilized seeds of plants and can invest in this area (UTCA, 2004).

Some of the amount of seed distribution of products in Turkey were shown in Table 2. By observing the Table 2, it is seen that the amount of the distribution of seeds of barley, sunflower (vin.), cotton (pile), chickpea, dry bean and vetch (name), SorgumxS are increased except for forage beet.

Table 2: Some of the amount of seed distribution of products in Turkey (tons) (2000-2008)
Source: MARA. General Directorate of Agricultural Production and Development records. Various years, 2009

Table 3: Level of meeting needs in the amount of seed for some products distributed in Turkey
**According to TURKSTAT statistics from the year 2007. Source: MARA, General Directorate of Agricultural Production and Development records. Various years, 2009

In the period of reviewing the amount of distribution, the wheat seeds 52.72%, distribution of cotton (delinte) seeds 27.79%, distribution of hybrid sunflower seed showed an increase of 26.39%. Hybrid maize seed distribution showed an increase in the rate 2:21, the distribution of soybean seed 2:08 times, clover seed distribution has increased 2.08 times. In the same period in the distribution of rice seeds showed 3:49-fold increase considerably aroused. The distribution of the total amount of seed was increased by 36.97% in the period overall.

However, despite the increase in seed distribution, as shown in Table 3, low rates of the distributed seeds to meet the needs are seen in some products. As shown in the Table 3, wheat seed distribution can meet 29% of the need, 8% of barley, 23% of rice, 18% of potato. The hybrid corn and hybrid sunflower seeds produced and marketed by almost all the private seed companies can be said to reach the desired level of distribution. Again, rape, sugar beet, cotton and vetch seeds in the distribution of their products, the situation seem to be good.


Private seed companies have begun to produce and market the hybrid varieties as developed their own kind and also standards of research institutes while previously dependent on foreign resources on hybrid cultivar development programs. Some of these companies make large investments in Turkey, founded the modern seed plants and seeds capable of producing European Standards. Important part of the seeds that are produced in these increasing number of growing modern plants are used through foreign sales (Genctan et al., 2005).

Turkey's foreign trade value and the amount of seeds in the period under review are shown in Table 4.

Table 4: Turkey's foreign trade value and the amount of seeds in the period (2000-2009)
Import Data 15.09.2009 Export Data of firs 6 months of 2009. Source: MARA, General Directorate of Agricultural Production, Development records various years, 2009

By the examination of the chart, there have been major changes in terms of quantity according to the importing seeds and seed products. In 2002, 784 tons of hybrid maize seed was imported; in 2008, this value rose to 4538 tons. Potato import has fallen 12 845 tons in 2008 while it was 14147 tons in 2002. A rate of 67.9% has been an increase in the amounts of import of vegetable seeds. A change of 96.4% was observed in import quantities of grass seed-lawn. In 2008, 789 tons of wheat seed was imported which was increased by 1.6 times compared to 2002.

In general, field crops seeds imports increased 6.3 times between 2002-2008 period, industrial plant seeds imports increased rate of 25.9% and feed crops imports increased by 17 times, grass and lawn seed imports increased 93.7% and vegetable seeds imports increased by the rate of 67.9%. Turkey's seed import value in 2008 was US $ 165.172 million.

In the same period, Turkey's seed increase in export volume and value can be considered as a positive development. The introduction of private sector growth has been achieved in a significant amount of seed export. Overall evaluation, field crops seed exports in this period, approximately 3.2 times, the industry exports seed crops 2.7 times, grass and lawn seed exports 11.7 times and vegetable seed exports is times increased 9.5 times. In 2008, Turkey gained revenue of US $ 70.713 million by import seeds. Despite these positive developments at import, Turkey's foreign trade balance seems developing in favor of import seeds.

In Turkey, it shall be prevented to import the seeds which variety development, seed production and preparation has been done successfully in plants such as wheat, barley, rice, cotton and sugar beet seeds. This practice prevents the production of local seeds and gives a great harm to seed production industry. A limited amount of test material of this plant for development purposes should be permitted from abroad.

Some of multinational seed companies operating in Turkey developed the transgenic varieties forced intense pressures for cultivation. Not to hurry in this regard, better monitoring and evaluation of developments in the world and move in line with the country's behavior and preferences which are competitors in world markets of Turkey are vital to act. After understanding exactly that there is no risk for human health and environmental safety issues, it would be better produce. Especially clarity is very important to understand, as the gene center of many of the crops, Turkey, in case of making transgenic varieties into production, at what levels biodiversity may be affected. Also, because it is far behind the desired level in the use of certified seed production, Turkey could adversely affect the development of seed and will be able to increase foreign dependence by the production of transgenic varieties (Gençtan et al., 2005).


In Turkey, seed prices are noted to be significantly affected by the demand the use of certified seeds. Producers have established a link between seed prices and the price of manufactured products. During periods if the increase in seed price is too much of the increase in product prices, the demand for certified seeds to farmers are reduced (Celik, 2000). Accordingly, use of high-efficiency and high quality seeds manufacturers is largely dependent on seed prices.

Advances in seed prices of some products in Turkey are shown in Table 5.

As shown in Table 5, seed prices have shown increases year to year. During the 2005-2008 period, wheat seed prices 82.7%, barley seed rates 95.2%, corn seed prices 16.7%, sunflower seed prices 6.3%, potato seed prices 33.3%, clover seed prices 29.4%, colza see prices 87.5% and cotton seed prices are increased by 40%.

Since 2005 extra support payments are made to farmers who use certified seeds with the scope of the direct income support payments associated with production of appropriate techniques and technologies. Support the amounts in 2009 to farmers using certified seed and to seed production organizations within the context of Domestic Certified Seed and Certified Seed Production Promotion Decision by 2009/15406 dated the Council of Ministers published on 9 September 2009 the Official Gazette and came into force.

In respect of the Desicion of Domestic Use of Certified Seed and Promotion on Certified Seed. The support per decare to farmers who produced and used certified seed domestically is shown in Table 6.

Supports per kilogram of private sector seed companies producing certified seeds, issuing certificates, performing domestic sales are shown in Table 7.

In addition, within the scope of desicion on the Development of Animal Husbandry, seed production agencies seeds are supported in case of producing seed of clover, sainfoin and vetch species forage crops.

Table 5: Seed prices of some products in Turkey according to years (2000-2004 TL/kg-2005-2008 YTL/kg)
*2008 prices are gained by TURKTED, TIGEM, TAGEM, CUKOBIRLIK. Source: MARA, General Directorate of Agricultural Production and Development records. Various years, 2009

Table 6: Certified seed support for domestic use

Table 7: Domestic certified seed production support

Also, through the premium payments, additional payments with a rate of 20% are made if the cotton and soybean producers use and document certified seeds Regarding the decision supporting livestock, to fodder crops producing farmers, supports are given in case of buying certified forage crop seeds they are paid the price of perennial forage crops of 35 and 20% on one-year forage crops. In order to more easily obtain the domestic certified seeds of wheat and barley T.C. Ziraat Bank and the Agricultural Credit Cooperatives give low-interest loans to farmers. Except for Animal beet and vegetable seeds, certified seed has been reduced to VAT of 1%. This situation affects positively mainly feed plants for seed production and use of certified seeds (MARA, 2006).


Main problem in seed production is the incorrect planning on the basis of today's varieties in Turkey as in the past. The production of seeds such as wheat, barley which are mainly produced by government agencies, is carried out at the request of the manufacturer one year before the plan. The level of product yield, quality and seed prices determine the demand varieties of seeds. This causes decreased demand for some varieties of seeds that remain in stock, while the other varieties of seeds are large discrepancies. Especially extra number of varieties of wheat seeds causes serious problems in production and distribution of the production schedule and makes it difficult to do.

A big part of our producers using certified seeds, believe and recognize increasing in efficiency. However, the lack of purchasing power prevents the use of these seeds. Therefore, manufacturers encourage and support to use high quality seed and dupports for certified seed should be increased. To increase the use of quality seeds, barriers which make it difficult for producers to reached seed should be removed and the shortest path and the cheapest way must be provided to producers of seeds. Unless you solve problems related to purchasing power in the use of certified seeds, it is concerned that the decline will continue in future years.

Because of the activities of private seed companies in the distribution of seeds produced by private seed companies in their markets there seems no major setback. Regarding Turkey's international obligations and taking into account the EU harmonization process, a structure must be achieved for seed development by changing the structure of the public to private sector seed. Allowing the creation of private sector to establish professional organizations media and let the sector to participate in seed-related policies and decisions.

Turkey must perform phytosanitary certificates respect to the international obligation for the import. In the EU Accession Partnership Document and requirements to complete the inadequacies in the seed sector in the areas of plant health should be taken into consideration.

Harmonization of Turkey with the European Union, one of the most important steps is the establishment of a Law of seeds. With this law, the vast majority of the seed sector with the relevant legislation has been harmonized. Moreover, by law, the governmental seed sector can be shifted to the private sector which is an important step. Turkey is moving in the positive direction of the seed sector. This sector is advancing at a rapid pace towards tradition to modernity. Existing arrangements are promising, but at Turkey agricultural sector, the necessary arrangements should be done regularly and arrangements, works at international levels should be monitored closely.

1:  Acar, S., 2008. Structure of seed sector in Turkey and the European Union. Expertise Thesis, MARA European Union External Relations and Coordination Department, Ankara.

2:  Celik, N., 2000. Input use and effects on productivity in agriculture. Expertise Thesis, General Directorate for Economic Sectors and Coordination, Agriculture Departmant, State Planning Organization, Ankara.

3:  SPO, 2001. Report of the sub-commission of plant-origin seed production special commission. State Planning Organization Publication Number 2646, Ankara.

4:  Genctan, T., M.E. Tugay, H.H. Gecit, B. Ozyurt and E. Ergun et al., 2005. In Turkey, seed, seedling and sapling production and utilization. The UNION of the Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects) the Chamber of Agricultural Engineers, Turkey Agricultural Engineering IV. Technical Congress, January 3-7, Ankara.

5:  Kizilaslan, H., 1996. Impact of applied plant seed policy on manufacturers of Tokat Province in Turkey. Ph.D. Thesis, Gaziosmanpaşa University Graduate School of Science, Department of Agricultural Economics, Tokat.

6:  Kun, E., M. Avci, F. Harmansah, I. Sahin, S. Kayımoglu and R. Duman, 1995. Use and production of seeds. The Unıon of the Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects) the Chamber of Agricultural Engineers, Turkey Agricultural Engineering IV. Technical Congress, January 9-13, Ankara.

7:  Miran, B., 2005. Agricultural structure and production. MARA, Agriculture in Turkey, Ankara.

8:  PSD, 2006. Common market organisations sub-working group reports. President of Strategy Development, Ankara.

9:  MARA, 2006. Seed project. Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Areas, Ankara.

10:  MARA, 2004. General directorate of agricultural production and development, seed sector and ıts future. Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Areas, Ankara.

11:  UTCA, 2000. Agricultural and economic reports, 1999-2000. The Union of Turkish Chambers of Agriculture, Ankara.

12:  UTCA, 2004. Seed working group report. The Union of Turkish Chambers of Agriculture Ankara.

©  2021 Science Alert. All Rights Reserved