Farmers across Turkey will march to the capital city on 2 February to protest the agricultural policies of AKP. This is their fifth protest in the last two months.
According to Dilan Kutlu’s report from the ANKA Agency, farmers are warning that farming is no longer a viable livelihood and Turkey will face a devastating food crisis in soon. Farmers especially find it hard to adapt to the increasing costs, which they blame on government policies such as the privatisation of the fertiliser industry.
Huseyin Demirtas, Turkish Agriculturers’ Association (TZD) Chairman, similarly points to the privatisation of the fertiliser industry that occurred in the last decade and says that farmers cannot cope with the excessive fertiliser prices. Demirtas also told Evrensel newspaper that national agricultural policies are being planned by food monopolies.
In addition to the high input costs, farmers are also facing unfair and low initial purchase prices which pushes them into a deep debt cycle. As delinquent loans have increased, agricultural lending institutions are confiscating the tractors and the lands of the farmers. Farmers complain that the bulk of the money is going to the construction companies which work extensively with the ruling AKP and that the government is on the side of Limak, Kolin and Cengiz groups. Farmers are urging the government to erase the debt interest and find a sustainable solution for the agricultural crisis in Turkey.