Turkey Agricultural Newsletter #1
Our latest agricultural news on several topics: the proposal of raise of tomato export quota by Russia, the severe drought in the country, training in agriculture and husbandry for refugees and about the Food Committee meeting to discuss the increasing food prices. 1 februari 2021
Russian agriculture ministry wants to raise tomato export quota Turkey
The Russian Agriculture Ministry has proposed increasing its quota for tomato imports from Turkey by 25%. Officials proposed that the quota be raised to 250,000 tons for fresh or chilled tomatoes, Interfax news agency reported on Tuesday.
The current upper limit is around 200,000 tons, which Turkish exporters say was reached at the end of November. Moscow in late February this year increased the quota for tomatoes imported from Turkey from 150,000 to 200,000 tons.
Russia, which previously limited the purchase of vegetables from Turkey due to strained relations between the two countries, lifted the ban in November 2017 and set quotas. On December 9th, Turkish exporters associations called for the removal of quotas on tomato sales to Russia, a move they claim is supported by both Turkish exporters and Russian importers. The statement was made jointly by seven associations across the country.
Turkey faces its worst drought in a decade
Water levels are critically low in Turkey's cities and countryside. Crop failures and water rationing could be right around the corner.
As 2021 begins, most of Turkey is experiencing severe drought. Numerous reservoirs around Istanbul—the country’s most populous city (15 million)—have reached their lowest water storage levels in 15 years. Crop production could be threatened if conditions persist.
The dry conditions come after several seasons of low rainfall. In 2019, the summer and autumn months were mostly devoid of rain, and water levels in reservoirs dwindled. Then 2020 was the driest of the past five years, with notably little rainfall in the latter half of the year. Since July 2020, nearly all provinces in Turkey received below-average rainfall nearly every month. From October to December, precipitation across the country was 48 percent lower than the average for 1981-2010.
In the Konya Plain, farmers experienced about 38 percent less precipitation from July to December 2020 than the same time in 2019. The lack of rainfall in the past six months has dramatically reduced grain harvests and triggered drought alerts for farmers, leaving uncertainty for future crop production.
Turkey trains refugees in agriculture, animal husbandry
With the support of international organizations, Turkish authorities have been providing training in agriculture and husbandry for refugees in the eastern province of Van.
The training is funded by the European Union, with contributions from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, Turkey's Agriculture and Forestry Ministry and Family, Labor and Social Services Ministry.
It is conducted under the supervision of the provincial agriculture directorate, aiming to support refugees' integration into Turkish society and their contribution to the economy.
The training is currently provided for 50 refugees in farms and greenhouses on agriculture and poultry techniques and the use of machinery and equipment.
Food Committee holds a meeting
The Food Committee held a meeting to discuss the increasing food prices last week. The ministers of Finance, Trade, Agriculture, the central bank governor and the head of the presidential budget board joined this meeting. They discussed the establishment of an “early warning system against price increases.
During the last couple of months the food prices showed an rapid increase and had an negative impact on country’s inflation. the Food Committee was established in order to control unfair price increases in grocery stores and eliminate the food stocking for manipulating the prices. During the last 6 months the food prices in general showed an increase of around 18% in Turkey.