Rising Food Prices: Dreams and Realities in Agriculture

Data released by TURKSTAT on March 3 showed that most of the inflation, which rose again to 15.61 percent, was for food products. Food prices rose 5.12 percent in the first two months of the year alone. Food prices have been a topic of discussion for a while and we are trying to find a solution by discussing the results. However, how did you come to the conclusion, what is the starting point of the problem? It is best to talk about them.

If we talk about food prices and the upcoming increases, the first thing we have to think about is in the field, agricultural policies. Turkey is not mentioned much in livestock while talking about agriculture and livestock are inseparable. Pandemic thus increasing the price of food worldwide, but much greater increases in Turkey. World prices based on average food prices in Turkey increased five times. Food prices are increasing everywhere, and if we say not to worry, we will face bigger problems after a while.

Agriculture and livestock are among the most controversial policies of the AK Party government, which is one of the nineteen years. While the government tells us that we are the first in Europe in terms of agricultural product in terms of agriculture, the opposition tells us that we are in a position to import even straw. What is really happening in agriculture? What are dreams, what are realities?

Agricultural inputs are more than the support provided

The AK Party is very proud of its support for agriculture and livestock. AK Party has provided more support than previous governments on paper and continues to do so. But what about entry costs versus supports? Let’s be honest, many times more than what you put in the right pocket came out of the left pocket with diesel, fertilizers, medicine, seeds and feed and it keeps coming out. Let’s look at the milk sample.

Raw milk obtained from a cow is called “raw milk.” Raw milk bought from the villager has not been produced for two years. Despite the intense reactions, he remained indifferent. It was said that “if we raise milk, it will negatively affect inflation”, as if only milk increased inflation. After two years without increase, the price per liter of raw milk increased from 2.30 lire to 2.80 lire. An increase of 21 percent has come. However, not everyone has a cooling tank. Not everyone can still give their milk for 2.80 lira, they can give it at this price, which is a cooling tank and can keep the milk in the cold chain until the buyer arrives. As the farmer cannot keep his milk in the cold chain, the quality of his milk decreases, he has to sell his liter cheaper in thought.

Let’s move on to input prices.

To produce milk, the villager plants his field, uses diesel and fertilizers. He buys foods other than farm foods from the factory for his cow or calf in order to obtain meat. “What if only the products of the fields were given without taking food from the factories?” I can hear you say When factory feed is not given, unfortunately, both milk and meat yield decreases, the animals have gotten used to it in some way.

Factory feed increased by 55 percent in one year. In March 2020, 50 kg of dairy food was 83 lire, today it is 125 lire. Fertilizer has increased by about 70 percent in one year. This does not include hikes for fuel, medicine, seeds, electricity, and water. In addition to these, there is a law enacted in 2006. Under that law, support for agriculture would be at least 1% of national income. However, when we look at it, it is clear that even the law is not obeyed. Furthermore, even if 1% is reached, the problems have become so great and chronic that they will be insufficient.

Yetkin Report / Faik Tunay

Continuation of the article here.

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