Turkish farmers becoming poorer amid sharp loss in Turkish Lira’s value
ADANA - Doğan News Agency
DHA photoSome 16.6 million agricultural workers, 21.3 percent of the country’s population, will become poorer as agricultural subsidies are insufficient to support them against rising costs due to a dramatic loss in the Turkish Lira, according to a leading academic.
“Around 16.6 million people live on around $46 billion in Turkey in the most optimist forecasts. This constitutes around $2,800 national income per capita, around one-third of the country average. This group will become poorer as their production costs, including fuel, fertilizer and seed costs, will see further rises in the face of sharp losses in the lira’s value,” said Prof. Bülent Gülçubuk, from the department of Agricultural Economics at Ankara University.
Gülçubuk noted such negativities can be avoided through a higher level of agricultural support.
“While the purchasing price of corn was 720 liras per ton in 2014, this has risen to 765 liras this year, with a 6.2-percent increase. The Turkish currency however lost around 30 percent in value against the U.S. dollar over the same period. In this vein, the price of fertilizers increased from 1,550 liras per ton in January this year to 1,650 liras in March. We see this price has increased to 1,800 liras per ton, representing around a 15-percent increase over the last eight months. While the production costs of Turkey’s farmers have been rising, their income has not been on the rise, even decreasing, amid losses in the lira’s value. This has especially hit small- and medium-sized agricultural enterprises,” he said.