After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, food security, especially wheat, is at the top of the world’s agenda. The occupation of Ukraine, one of the world’s major grain producers, caused prices to rise rapidly. While warnings of famine were made in many countries, the signing of an agreement under the supervision of the United Nations (UN) under the mediation of Turkey for the shipment of grain products enabled the ships loaded with grain to leave the ports again.
Turkey is one of the countries that consume the most wheat in the world. According to the data of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for 2019, 169 kilograms of wheat and wheat products are consumed per person per year in Turkey.
With this ratio, Turkey ranks at the top among the members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), while it ranks 7th in the world.
Which countries consume the most wheat in terms of population in the world? How much wheat is consumed annually per capita in Turkey? What is Turkey’s proficiency level in wheat?
Tunisia, which consumes the most wheat
According to FAO’s 2019 data, Tunisia is the country that consumes the most wheat and wheat products in the world. In this country, 199 kg of wheat is consumed per person per year. Turkmenistan ranks second with 190 kg, while Algeria is third with 182 kg. These countries are followed by Azerbaijan (180 kg), Morocco (177 kg) and Uzbekistan (173 kg). Wheat consumption per capita is 169 kg per year in Turkey, which ranks seventh.
Turkey is followed by Afghanistan (162 kg), Iran (156 kg), Egypt (146 kg), Italy (144 kg), Georgia (139 kg) and Russia (138 kg).
It is seen that wheat consumption is lower in European countries. France ranks 26th among 180 countries with a consumption of 120 kg. Greece comes next with 116 kg.
Wheat consumption in Turkey is twice that of Germany
While 111 kg of wheat is consumed in England in 35th place, Germany is in 65th place with 88 kg. Wheat consumption in Turkey is almost twice that of Germany.
While 80 kg of wheat is consumed per person per year in the USA, this amount is 66 in China.
The country with the lowest wheat consumption in the world is Laos with 1 kg. In Chad, Cambodia and the Central African Republic, the annual consumption is 3 kg.
Measuring the supply
On the other hand, according to the statement of FAO officials, the data is not actually “wheat consumption”; It shows the “wheat supply”. Because it is not possible to calculate the “food loss and waste” exactly. Therefore, the “wheat supply” is considered as consumption.
While the food preferences of the people are effective in wheat consumption in some countries, the reason for the low consumption of wheat in underdeveloped countries is the low supply. People cannot consume wheat because they cannot access wheat.
Annual consumption according to TUIK: 177 kg
According to the data of the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK), annual per capita wheat consumption in Turkey in the 2020-2021 season was 176.8 kg.
Is Turkey self-sufficient in agriculture? According to TURKSTAT, in the market year 2020/2021 (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021), Turkey’s self-sufficiency in grain was 97.4 percent. This rate was 87.8 percent in the 2019/20 season.
How much is Turkey’s wheat import and export?
100 percent means that a country can fully meet its needs. Rates below 100 percent indicate that production is not self-sufficient.
In wheat, one of the most important cereals, self-sufficiency was 102.5% in the 2020/2021 market year. However, this rate was 89.5 percent in the previous year.
Turkey’s wheat import and export varies according to years. While 10.8 million tons of wheat was imported in the 2019-20 season, 7.5 million tons of wheat was imported.