Duvar EnglishAegean tobacco farmers fear abandoning production amid growing economic difficulties
A main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy noted that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) reduced agricultural production significantly since they were elected in 2002, daily Birgün reported on Aug. 19.
The AKP ruled over the loss of almost 3.5 million hectares of farmland, which is three times the agricultural land found in Thrace, a report titled "Agriculture in Turkey 2020: We produce together and share among the people" revealed.
Turkey's reliance on food exports increased consequently, paying some $3.2 billion for 14 million tons of grains in 2019, which is a record amount in the history of the republic, the report penned by CHP deputy Orhan Sarıbal said.
"We made other countries' farmers rich by paying more than $27 billion for imports [during the AKP's rule,]" the report noted.Opposition MP questions why domestic meat prices in Turkey skyrocketed
The number of agricultural workers also dropped by about one third, going from 7.5 million in 2020 to five million in 2019.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said that AKP's neoliberal policies had made Turkey entirely reliant on imports for agricultural products with a shrinking workforce.
"We can't stomach seeing agricultural production in this state, whereas it was the foundation and pillar of progress during the establishment of the Republic," Kılıçdaroğlu said.