Once a self-sufficient state in farming, Turkey imported $3.5 billion of agricultural goods in the first seven months of the year, a number that will likely double by December, main opposition CHP deeputy Okan Gaytancıoğlu said. He claimed that traders close to the ruling AKP benefit from imports while domestic producers keep losing money.
A recent report by the Istanbul Municipality has revealed that the city has lost one fourth of its farmlands in the past 25 years. The amount of green space per Istanbulite was measured at 2.7 square-meters as of 2019, about one fifth of an average car parking space. The report has also said that Istanbulites have become impoverished over the years, as the monthly income of a household is currently below the level of 2006 in terms of dollars.
A women's cooperative in the Mediterranean province of Mersin have taken part in the processing of wheat berries that were produced by local farmers. Noting the ancestral significance of grains for the region, the members of the coop processed the berries into cracked wheat, a common ingredient used in Turkish cuisine.
Turkey's donkey population observed a decrease of two-thirds in 18 years under the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). The shrink represents the overall decline of the agricultural industry, a main opposition deputy said.
Turkish gendarmerie sprayed teargas from close distance to a villager, journalist Melis Alphan said in a tweet on August 21. A group of villagers were reportedly demonstrating against a biogas power plant that would be built on their farmlands.
The Turkish Grain Board (TMO) will import about 600,000 tons of grains on August 25 to prevent price hikes and hoarding amid a small harvest in 2020. A main opposition deputy noted that farmland has been shrinking in Turkey despite lower production levels.
A main opposition deputy said that Turkey's agricultural production had dropped significantly under the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). CHP deputy Orhan Sarıbal said that Turkey had become entirely dependent on agricultural imports. "We made other countries' farmers rich by paying more than $27 billion for imports [during the AKP's rule,]" he said.
Turkey's tobacco producers in the Aegean Region are afraid they will fail to harvest their crops in 2021 due to financial strains. Aegean tobacco is famed for its slow burn, sweet taste, low nicotine content and pleasant smell, 90 to 95 percent of Turkey's tobacco exports come from the Aegean region.
Armağan Kabaklı reports: Plastic waste imported from Britain is being burned in Turkey's southern Adana, risking soil pollution and destruction of natural resources. While footage of the province shows piles of plastic waste, a recent report by the BBC followed the journey of British plastic to the Turkish city.
A stevia farm in the northern province of Rize remains non-operational even though 16 million Turkish Liras were spent for it. Processing the sugar-yielding plant stevia has been delayed because "producers can't find enough flat fields to grow," Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said.
A former district governor who got removed from his post for insulting a local was promoted to deputy governor of Bilecik. The local that the former district governor insulted was protesting the expropriation of their land.
A fire that broke out in the northwestern province of Çanakkale scorched through 450 hectares of land, which included farm land as well as forest.
Watermelon farmers in the southern province of Adana are grateful to be harvesting their watermelon crops, after a period of not knowing whether they'd be allowed to work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As citrus fruits burned before becoming ripe because of an early heat wave, Adana farmers turn to watermelon to make it through harvest season.
A lawmaker from Turkey's main opposition presented a parliamentary question to the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry, inquiring about domestic meat prices that have skyrocketed during the COVID-19 outbreak. Gürer asked whether it was normal for one kilo of meat to cost as high as 100 Turkish Liras.
Turkish engineers' union representatives have warned against a potential food crisis triggered by the halt in imports caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. While Turkey produces most of its rice, corn and cotton, about one third is imported, a representative said, adding that a pause in imports could cause short supplies in the near future.