Opposition parties consistently argue that agriculturel production failed in Turkey. Some says that even straw is being imported. Moreover they claim that the farmer is not subsidised and protected and always say "Has the agricultural production failed in Turkey?". We are really curious as a responsible individuals and searched, examined, compared the data obtained from reliable sources. And see that the situation is not at all what the opposition says.
Has agriculture really failed in Turkey? Does Turkey even import straw anymore? Does Turkey dependent on Israel in seeds? Is Turkey not capable of producing seeds? Does the state not protect the farmer?
Let's examine it all together and start first with agricultural production.
What does it mean agricultural production?
Fruits, vegetables, cereals, spices, cows, sheep goats, chicken, fish etc. All of these are the topics of agricultural production.
The total value of agricultural production in 2002 was 52 billion TL. In 2020 the value increased to 504 billion TL. Today, Turkey produces 10 times of which was produced in 2002
When we look at in detail the scheme is much what we observed in total. There were 9 million cattle, it is 18 million today. While there were 30 million sheep and goats, it has become 50 million currently. 700 thousand tons of poultry were produced in 2002, today 2.1 million tons. 8 million tons of milk were produced, today 24 million tons. There were 4 million hives in 2002, Today 8 million. Fish production was 80 thousands a year in 2002 from aquaculture, today 400 thousand tons. Here are the numbers of agricultural production…
Let's keep finding the answer of "Has the agriculture really failed in Turkey?"
Ornamental plants: from zero to 52 thousand decares
Ornamental plants are the plants which are grown for decorative purposes. Simply, the flowers that are ordered online and sent as gifts to someone else.
Until 2002, there is no production in Turkey. The country used to import, mostly from the Netherlands. Today, ornamental plants are grown on 52 thousand decares.
Good agricultural practices, literally means the standard of farming which a reasonable farmer would follow. Or in other saying, farming by seeking environmental and health objectives. 150 thousand tons of agricultural production were grown with Good Agricultural Practices. Today, it is 7 millions ton per year. It increased approximately 50 times.
Organic farming (farming with natural inputs without using chemicals as agricultiral production), 310 thousand tons of organic products was grown, today 2 million tons. It has increased by about 7 times.
There are all same-folded situation wherever we looked. 4 million tons of products are grown in greenhouses, today 8 million tons, It has doubled. Fodder crops, the most basic input of animal husbandry. It was 7.5 million decares fodder crops were grown on, But now 23 million decares. It has tripled, and still contuse to rise.
So, the agricultural production in Turkey… In some areas of agricultural production in Turkey doubled, tripled or has increased 50 times what it was in 2002. Meat, milk, egg, honey etc. Whatever comes to mind, its production has increased many times over.
BUT ARE WE REALLY DEPENDENT ON FOREIGN COUNTRIES IN SEED PRODUCTION?
Now the point we have to focus at here is; when we talk about producing seeds in Turkey, how much seeds Turkey produces, how much of this is exported and the amount imported, buying from outside of the country and the numbers of importing seed in Turkey?
In 2002, Turkey produced 120 thousand tons of seed, exported 8 thousand tons of what it produces and imported 20 thousand tons as the numbers of importing seed in Turkey.
In 2020 Turkey has achieved 1.2 million tons of production, exported 102 thousand tons of its production and the numbers of importing seeed in Turkey are 20 thousand tons.
To compare when we look at the numbers of agricultural production, today Turkey produces exactly 10 times as many as it produced in 2002, From 120 thousand tons to 1.2 million tons. And we ask that "Has the agricultural production failed in Turkey?", see that exported 13 times more than what was exported in 2002, from 8 thousand tons to 102 thousand tons.
DOES TURKEY EVEN IMPORT STRAW?
Here we took numbers from the statistics portal of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Turkey imported 275 thousand dollars worth straw in 2019 and exported 13 million dollars.
Turkey had imported 275 thousand dollars, but exported 13 million dollars. Almost 50 times what it was imported in 2002.
SUBSIDY PAYMENTS IN AGRICULTURE
Subsidy Payment in Agriculture, The state gives money to the farmer to reduce the inflation pressure on the farmer; money for fertilizer, straw, diesel and etc. Thus, the state protects the farmer from the volatilities in the market for subsidy payments in agriculture.
Let's have a look of subsidy payments in agriculture. The total support given to farmers in 2002 is 1.8 billion TL. When we came to 2019, this number increased 6 times and reached 11 billion TL.
When we ask "Has the agricultural production failed in Turkey?", there is also grant part!
Within producing seed in Turkey, there is an institution in Turkey called TKDK which is established in 2007. Livestock, greenhouse, beekeeping, whatever comes to mind about agriculture. Farmers who want to invest in agriculture apply to this institution. Dependent on the amount the institution give grants up to 50 percent what it is going to be invested for producing seed in Turkey.
In short, the TKDK has supported approximately 12 thousand investments with 8 billion TL so far, and still continues to give grants to the farmers
Additionally there is a program called KKYDP, run by the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development Investments Support Program. Within the scope of this program, anyone who wants to make investments in agriculture is supported financially.
The program implemented in 2006, approximately 12 billion TL of grants have been supplied to the farmers. The farmers built barns, greenhouses, warehouses for the product harvested, bought packaging machines, tractors…
So the story of agricultural production is not like we were told according to the numbers we have derived from the relabile resources. At least the numbers tell us so
As a conclusion none of these increases happened by themselves. The Ministry of Agriculture made plan, program, transferred financial resources, protected the farmer against volatilities. In short, the investment infrastructure of agriculture developed to attract new entrepreneurships, then these fold increases occurred.
So, really has the agricultural production failed in Turkey, this is your decision…