TODAY’S – ukurova’s early harvests worry farmers

ukurova’s early harvests worry farmersWheat harvests have begun early in the southern region of ukurova, with farmers bracing for a disappointing yield due to drought and frost from earlier this year.ukurova, located in the province of Adana, is the main producer of wheat in Turkey. However, farmers expect an 80 percent loss in their expected yield this year. They have been forced to harvest their wheat one month earlier than usual as a result of a prolonged drought that began late last year followed by unusual frosts in March. The producers of various fruits, nuts and vegetables all over Turkey have complained of significant declines in their yields.In previous years, farmers could normally reap 60-70 grains of wheat per stalk, but this year ukurova farmers are complaining of only being able to extract 10 grains in most areas. Even the highest yielding areas produced only 20-24 grains of wheat, according to ukurova farmers.The farmers are also burdened by high debts to the state. In spite of the government postponing the repayment of 3 percent loans for a year, the farmers do not expect such an initiative to alleviate their problems.“We are facing a very serious crisis. We have fuel, fertilizer and medicine-related debts. Normally we produce 600 kilograms of wheat in a 920-square-meter area, but this year we are only producing 50-200 kilograms. Simply postponing our debts will not solve our problems,” said Mesut Farsak, a ukurova wheat producer from the village of Ceyhan, speaking to the Cihan news agency.“We are harvesting at the moment but it’s not the right time. Due to drought, we have been forced to harvest a month earlier than usual, and the yields have decreased. Our farmers are not happy and we are in a very difficult situation. Postponing the 3 percent interest loan will not remedy our situation,” Ceyhan Agricultural Chamber Deputy President Muhammet Bulut told Cihan.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman

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