A SWOT ANALYSIS OF LIVESTOCK ECONOMY IN KARS, TURKEY

Savaş DURMUŞ

Livestock industry is one of the most important industries of both Turkey and Kars in terms of its internal and external advantages. Besides, politics of national economy are the primaries that effect agricultural sector and livestock industry. After 1980 free market economy of Turkey redoubled the investments in industry part with its export-oriented growth model and supported the sector in several ways but agricultural sector and livestock industry could not utilize that development. Especially Turkey's partial lands which have a great position in agricultural sector decreased productivity so much that Turkey was lagged behind in terms of agriculture and livestock sector of Europe. Our border city Kars province which is located to north-east of East Anatolian Region is one of Turkey’s summer range cities with a height of 1750 meters. Livestock has an important position in Kars economy. Economic return of the city is based on livestock (Güvensoy, 2004: 227).From past to present, plenitude of wide grasslands which are very important for animals, meadows of high altitude and ranges make livestock into an economical base factor for the city. Especially pasture and range farming have made highquality and tasty meat thus Kars became one of the stock farming centers of Turkey. In 1940’s pasture areas were bigger than 13.000 km² and this rate took the city into the top 10 list in terms of posture area and animal amount and put the city over the top of Turkey in terms of livestock income (Aydın,2013: 16). According to population census results of 2013 Kars province's population was 100.874. The ratio of city and towns in total population were % 43.04, the ratio of districts and villages in total population were % 56.97 and yearly population growth rate was - 13.03. 340.000 hectare which means % 35 of total land was agricultural estate (TUİK, 2014).Protracted winter-session affects the agricultural productivity of the city. Harvest is made only once in a year. While wheat, barley, esparsette, clover and tare are produced for grain and feed crop production, only sugar beet and potato are produced for industrial crop production. % 34 of Kars' agricultural production is grain and % 66 is feed crop. The main purpose of agricultural production is to provide farmers' animal production. Different from the other industries livestock sector incorporates many sub-sectors and proposes solutions to social problems of the country. Livestock has some social and economic functions in terms of rural development. Instead of preventing rural depopulation with alleviating unemployment in rural area, unguided urbanization and decreasing population pressure, livestock carries responsibilities out such as welfare increasing with providing balanced development for the country. This study aims to analyze the Kars' livestock in terms of economy with the help of SWOT's (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis. Results from statistical information such as animal amount in Kars, income from these animals, number of people engaged in livestock, investments to livestock were analyzed with basic statistical documentaries. It can be seen that livestock in Kars should not be dissociated from livestock in Turkey in terms of macroeconomic. Investments on livestock sector could not meet the expected return. This is because the failure of establishing macro-economic enterprises, harsh winter conditions, paucity of natural pastures, lack of transportation facilities, lack of marketing and marking for quality animal products are at the top of basic factors. As a result, it has been aimed to reveal what can be done about competition on country's and world's market, use our strengths with benefiting from the opportunities, make the foibles stronger with revealing them, research the facilities, minimize the negative factors which threaten the livestock.

Key Words: Livestock production, agricultural economy of Kars province, swot analysis