Turkey's AKP government has been saying that the sugar factories are to be privatised because they do not make the profit. Ahmet Atalık, the chairperson of the Chamber of Agricultural Engineers, refuted AKP government's argument that the sugar factories are not profiting. Atalık underlined that sugar factories profited around 16 million US dollars in 2016 and that the problem is production has been halted in these factories.
According to the annual report of Turkish Sugar Refineries Corporation for 2016, 25 sugar factories in Turkey lost 7,3 million US dollars, while sugar institute's loss was 790 thousand US dollars. Ahmet Atalık reminded that this loss was caused on the huge part by the production halt in Ağrı, Alpullu, Çarşamba and Susurluk factories. Atalık said that sugar factories did in fact profit around 16 million US dollars in 2016 when the calculation excluded factories that halted production.
Atalık commented that poor agricultural policies are the main reason behind the production halt in some sugar factories. Since the farmers are unable to produce enough sugar beets, the factories halted production. Reminding that although the rate of subvention to the farmers cannot be below 1 percent of the domestic income, the amount of subvention was 3,5 billion US dollars while it had to be 8 billion.
Sugar beet is not included in the inventory of agricultural products to be supported although its inadequate production causes the collapse of sugar production sector, Atalık added. The law that defined a production quota for sugar beet in 2001 caused a decline in the number of sugar beet producers and farms. Sugar beet cultivation areas for the factories also shrunk considerably over the years, according to the data Atalık provided. He said, all these data show that sugar factories are made to lose money as a result of present policies.