CENGIZ – The end of agriculture: a balance sheet

The end of agriculture: a balance sheetTurkey has been enthusiastically abolishing its agriculture for decades. The consensus on the necessity of getting rid of agriculture ranges from right to left, from urban to rural people.

The verdicts are crystal clear: “Agriculture is an outdated activity. If it has to be done, it must be intensive and unmanned.

” “Air, water and soil are endless. They can be used freely.

” “The peasantry is backwards, a thing of the past.” However, these assertions are wrong and unfair They are not found only in Turkey, but rather they are global.

Turkey is just doing what countries that imitate the developed world do.The figures are appalling.

From 2012 to 2013, the number of registered farmers dropped below the 1 million mark, a 12 percent decrease. The share of the agriculture sector in overall employment has decreased by about 50 percent over the last 20 years.

In 1990, 46 percent of the total rate of employment in Turkey was in the agriculture sector Now, it has dropped to 24.7 percent.

Just like the global trend, small farming is disappearing or being eliminated, and agriculture is becoming dehumanized and industrialized. As a result, a farmer goes bankrupt every two minutes in Europe and every 50 seconds in Turkey.

The name of the ministry no longer has any connection to villages. First the Rural Affairs offices affiliated with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs were shut down, then any reference to rural affairs was removed from the ministry’s name.

According to statistics from the Turkish Union of Agricultural Chambers (TZOB), the surface area of land dedicated to agricultural use dropped to 23.81 hectares, an 11.

3 percent drop between 1995 and 2013. This decrease is equivalent to 3 million hectares, or 30,000 square kilometers, roughly the size of Belgium Turkey is losing agricultural lands when they are opened for re-zoning, all while renting 780,000 hectares of agricultural land from Sudan for 99 years.

As a result, Turkey has been gone from being one of seven self-sufficient countries in terms of agriculture to a country that imports crops from more than 100 countries. But the impact is not restricted to production only.

The elimination of agriculture means the destruction of rural areas and nature, as there are no people to look after them These are interconnected processes of life-and-death.Let us continue with the consequences: In academia, the least popular departments are agricultural engineering, veterinary sciences and agricultural economy.

As for urbanization, the prime minister in 2010 boasted that “as you know, Turkey is no longer an agricultural country.” Now, he says, “Villages must be urbanized.

” In this way, we are moving away from being a peasant country and we are developing! In the final analysis, 80 percent of the population is crammed into ugly cities. From an administrative perspective, the municipalities — the sole legal authorities outside the central government – have decreased to 1,389.

The figure in Germany, a country half the size of Turkey, is 10 times greater The reduction in the number of municipalities means that no decision can be made at the local level.In terms of employment, this is a country where we speak of a statistic called “non-agricultural employment.

” As soon as workers exit agricultural employment, they are classified as “unskilled.” Most of those who recently died in the mining disaster in Soma were formerly farmers.

Many of the people who work informally as water sellers, car park operators, bodyguards in bars and discotheques, pizza delivery people and in other uncategorized jobs are former peasants.In terms of acculturation and alienation, centuries-old rural knowledge is under threat.

The self-sufficient, sustainable lifestyle that does not harm nature is disappearing. The acculturation is two-pronged, though.

The needs of new urbanites keep snowballing. These urbanites are in tune with the culture of mass consumption.

They love it and try to delve deeper into this culture through loans. Thus, the elimination of agriculture, nature and rural areas boosts an economic model based on uncontrolled consumption.

The life that was characteristic of rural areas is no longer popular among the rural supporters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).The direction of the country is obvious: to gleefully devour nature, agriculture and, obviously, the city until the bitter end.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman