August 10, 2001
Turkey’s cotton production for MY 2001/02 is estimated at 3.9 million bales, up from last year’s estimate of 3.6 million. The Government of Turkey’s National Cotton Advisory Board (NCAB) estimated 2001/02 production at nearly 4.26 million bales, but other sources believe the NCAB is high. Most sources, including the USDA, forecast 2001/02 cotton production at 3.9 million bales, near the 1995/96 record level (Figure 1). Total cotton area increased from 670,000 hectares last year to 700,000 hectares for 2001/02.
Figure 1.Historical Cotton Production in Turkey (official USDA estimates)
The 2001/02 production increase of 0.4 million bales is largely attributed to increase in area in all major cotton regions of Cukurova, Izmir/Aegean, and Southeast Anatolia. This year, many farmers in the Cukurova and Aegean regions planted cotton, reversing a five-year trend that shifted area away from cotton to a corn-wheat rotation or horticultural production (Figure 2). Cotton area continues to increase in the Southeastern Anatolia region as a result of the Southeastern Anatolian Project (GAP). Completion of the GAP is scheduled for 2010, and it will consist of a series of hydroelectric dams to irrigate a total of 1.7 million hectares. However, only 12 percent of GAP's irrigation component is completed and Turkey's recent economic difficulties may further delay GAP’s 2010 completion date.
In 1995, the Sanliurfa tunnel from the Ataturk Dam was opened and it currently irrigates 140,000 ha in the Harran plain, ninety percent of it cotton. A second tunnel from the Ataturk Dam is scheduled to be opened in 2002, and will irrigate an additional 300,000 ha. within the Mardin and Ceylanpinar plains. These plains are the most fertile part of the Upper Mesopotamia. This region will continue to increase Turkey's total cotton area and production potential.
For more information, contact Curt Reynolds with the Production Estimates and Crop Assessment Division at (202) 690-0134 or e-mail ReynoldsC@fas.usda.gov.