Water scarcity threatens agricultural production in Turkey’s breadbasket
Lack of rainfall and excessive use of underground water in the past year has triggered drought alert for the Konya Plain, which is at the heart of the country’s agriculture capital, raising concerns over the production of future crops.
More than 30 percent loss occurred in the wheat harvest that started as of July in the Central Anatolian province of Konya’s Karapınar district, which is considered the driest region of Turkey, according to daily Milliyet.
This negative picture is expected to be reflected in the prices of flour, wheat and animal feed in the coming days.
Experts pointed out that although groundwater was extracted from 50 meters deep in the basin until five years ago, this distance increased to over 150 meters due to drought and excessive consumption.
They also underlined that a wheat crisis might occur throughout the country if the resources are depleted.
Nadi Özdil, the secretary-general of the Karapınar Chamber of Agriculture, stated that grain harvesting could not be done on a large land of 100,000 decares and that the annual wheat production capacity of 20 million tons was expected to decrease to 15 million tons due to drought and climate change-related reasons.
Necmettin Ocakçı, the director of Karapınar Central Irrigation Cooperative, said that underground water resources were gradually decreasing and that there was a yield loss of almost 80 percent in lands called barren.
While Mithat Direk, an academic from Selçuk University, stated that the trouble experienced in Karapınar would be reflected in the prices of flour, bread and meat, Osman Kendirci, the secretary-general of the Meram Chamber of Agriculture, emphasized that urgent measures and projects should be implemented as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, a new hot weather front arriving in Turkey on the weekend will cause the temperature to increase to almost 10 degrees Celsius above the seasonal norm across the country.