Published On: Mon, Jul 31st, 2017

Turkish farmers may hit the streets if policies applied by government not reviewed

Turkey has been suffering high inflation for a while again and the agricultural sector is often used as a scapegoat in explaining why the inflation rate is so high. In reality however, farmers have serious issues to be attended to and in case the authority is not focused on resolving sector’s deep problems to give them a true relief, farmers might soon take to the streets.

Experts say it would not be difficult to see looking at the current picture of the sector that some policies put into practice by the authority have been putting unbearable pressure on farmers.

To the contrary, instead of trying to bring solid and feasible solutions to problems the sector has incurred, the authority has grown the habit of blaming high food prices for the climbing inflation rate in the country, recently. Experts comment at this point, high food prices would not be an excuse for the inflation because the share of food is only 3 percent and the remaining 8 points would still need an explanation. “Moreover, transportation costs should also be taken into consideration” experts comment.

In June, the government lowered customs taxes on some cereals, which had a direct or indirect effect on prices of red and white meat, bread and eggs as well as wheat and corn with the target order to alleviate rising food prices, despite strong reaction from local farmers.

Additionally, customs-free import quotas for grains and meat to the Turkish Grain Board (TMO) and the Meat and Milk Board (ESK) were also announced by the authority to have full impact in concerned operation.

This also brought along very strong reaction from farmers who say “they are the ones to feed people in the country” but this is obviously not appreciated. And as it looks now, if the administration does not think of any solutions to cure the situation the farmers are very likely to hit the streets soon. Not to forget, the strongest indication farmers are having a hard time to survive is the fact that they have been quitting production and prefer to flock to big cities instead to find ways of making a living.

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