Turkey’s agriculture and food production at risk

Agriculture provides for our most basic needs it is not expendable, despite its high costs.
However, farmland and ecologically valuable sites tend to be lost across the world as cities expand. Settlements occupy farmland. Deforestation and the injudicious use of farmland lead to erosion and the loss of fertile soil and biodiversity. The imprudent use of water increases the risk to water resources. In the present day, more than 250 million people are directly affected by drought and desertification.
Climate change has reached new heights. The destruction of forests, loss of farmland, over-industrialization, pressure on limited natural resources, especially water, and environmental pollution have all played significant roles in this change.
Food security is at risk. According to the latest data released by the World Bank, the number of poverty-stricken people, which is currently 702 million globally, is expected to increase by 100 million by 2030. Climate change will affect agriculture as an industry and food security. The impact will be felt particularly in less developed nations.
Anatolia is home to more than 10,000 plant species, with over 3,000 of them being endemic. It is also the gene center for wheat, barley, rye, oats, chickpeas and lentils. Turkey used to plant only domestic wheat 60 years ago now domestic wheat accounts for only 5 percent of wheat in Turkey. On a global level, genetic diversity in agriculture has dropped by 75 percent.
In order to maintain food security and economic independence, biological resources must be managed properly. The better you preserve biodiversity by creating a sustainable environment for it, the safer you are.
When this is the case, what are we doing?
For quite some time now, the government has been benefiting its cronies through omnibus laws when it is not able to do so based on individual laws.
The and”first degree pasture sites,and” which were designated by the Cabinet as urban transformation or development areas, have now been opened up to construction. Whoever pays the and”pasture priceand” for 20 years will in return be able to build on these areas. An amendment to the relevant regulation, which was included in September 2014and’s omnibus law, had expanded the 14th article of the Pasture Law, paving the way for a change in the allocation options of meadows.
Last year, protected areas were reduced and regulations involving wetlands, national parks and forests were amended in Turkey. Since the Law on Protection of Soil and Use of Fields was altered to allow for and”abuseand” rather than and”protectionand” between 2006 and 2012, the surface area of farmland permitted to be used for other purposes surpassed 1 million hectares.
During the days when the Law on Pastures was being amended, the Biosafety Board approved the import of six corn species with genetically modified organisms (GMO) as well as two soy species with GMO. Over 30 GMO-containing livestock foods had already been allowed previously. From now on, we will be eating more products from animals that were fed GMO-containing food. When it is possible to grow livestock food types with no GMO at home, it is hard to understand why the government is investing in importing the kind with GMO. These two decisions will greatly harm animal husbandry.
While we are being so unwise, recently uplifting news on the issue has come from Mexico. The supreme court of Mexico banned the Monsanto company from raising GMO-containing products on the grounds that it directly affects the lives of locals.
According to the Chamber of Turkish Agricultural Engineers, Turkeyand’s budget for supporting agriculture was TL 61 billion between 2003 and 2015, while agricultural products and food imports accounted for TL 270 billion in the same period. As a consequence of agricultural policies dependent on abroad, over the past three years, a total of $ 58.5 billion was spent on wheat, corn, oil seed, cotton and soy.
Considering that Turkeyand’s population is going to increase by 5 million by 2020, the countryand’s grain production should be boosted by 1 million tons. This means Turkey is going to need 400,000 more hectares of farmland in order to achieve food security.
Purchasing can only work to an extent. It is an idiotic choice to go for dependence when there is the option for independence. Like the way bad policies made Turkey dependent on other countries for energy resources, similar mistakes are likely to do the same in agriculture.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN

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