Turkey to experience food crisis this summer, says main opposition leader

Turkey will experience a food crisis this summer in the face of rising costs of fertilizers, said main opposition CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. “Fertilizer is very expensive; people cannot buy it and cannot use it for their farms,” Kılıçdaroğlu said during a meeting with the Adana Farmers Union on Dec. 23.

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Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğu has said that the country will experience a food crisis in the coming summer. Kılıçdaroğlu made the comments on Dec. 23 during a meeting with the Farmers Union in the southern province of Adana.

“Farmers are not able to plant anything; they will incur loss anyway if they do. When I was speaking with a group of farmers the other day, they said, 'We were able to use fertilizer for only 20 percent of the farms.' Fertilizer is very expensive; people cannot buy it and cannot use it for their farms. In the coming summer, we'll all go experience a food crisis,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

“Be assured that the government is not aware of this. I am making a warning at every place I go to. If Turkey experiences a food crisis, much more dramatic results can appear, i.e. even if you have money, you might not find some of the food items. The precautions need to be taken today for this,” he said.

Kılıçdaroğlu also warned that the youth have been emigrating from Turkey's rural areas, which is putting the agricultural sector in danger. “The rural areas have been abandoned. Who is going to produce? It is only the old that have stayed in villages. The youth need to work, need to produce. And measures need to be taken for this,” he said.

Turkey is rich in fertile land, but its agricultural industry is in sharp decline, as a result of failing government policies, spiraling costs and low state support. Effects of drought and rising costs, especially with the recent crash of the lira, are seen more than ever in the agricultural sector.