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Agriculture in Turkey: Growth, Opportunities, and Challenges

Agriculture in Turkey is a vital sector of the country's economy, providing a significant contribution to the Turkish market. With a long history of farming and agriculture, Turkey has become one of the leading agricultural producers in the world, providing ample opportunities for farmers. The country's diverse range of crops includes wheat, vegetables, and fruits, which are processed into various food products. Poultry meat and animal feed production are also significant parts of Turkey's agricultural industry, contributing to the overall food processing industry of the country.


Farmers in Turkey practice both conventional and organic farming methods. The country has a vast amount of agricultural land that is used for crop cultivation and animal husbandry, including cattle. Grazing lands are also used for livestock production, making agriculture an essential part of food systems and rural development in Turkey. With abundant natural resources, the turkish market benefits from the diverse range of products produced by these farmers.

Turkey's farmers utilize modern technologies to enhance their agricultural productivity and increase their agricultural production, resulting in improved crop yields and reduced waste during harvest time. They also integrate sustainable practices into their farming methods to safeguard the environment and promote biodiversity, ensuring the quality of their agricultural products in the Turkish market.

One of the challenges faced by Turkish farmers is access to resources such as water and fertilizers, which are crucial for their agricultural practices on limited agricultural land. However, the government has implemented policies to support farmers with subsidies, loans, and technical assistance to help them overcome these challenges and ensure the production of high-quality agricultural products. Additionally, the government also provides agricultural insurance to protect farmers from unexpected losses due to natural disasters or other unforeseen events.

The agricultural sector in Turkey is a vital contributor to the country's economy, with poultry meat production being a significant aspect of the turkish market. Turkey is one of the largest producers globally, and its poultry industry relies heavily on animal feed production to ensure that livestock is provided with necessary nutrients. Additionally, the production of agricultural products plays a crucial role in the food processing industry.

In recent years, there has been growing interest in organic farming practices among Turkish farmers, particularly those who are fruit and wheat producers. Organic farms have been established across the country, contributing to the development of sustainable food systems and producing high-quality crops without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.

Turkey's agricultural industry is a significant contributor to the world economy. The sector plays an essential role in the production of industrial crops such as cotton, sunflower seed, and wheat, farm management, and the breeding of cattle. In this section, we will provide an overview of Turkey's agriculture industry.

Leading Producer of Agricultural Products

Turkey is one of the world's leading producers of agricultural products. The country has a diverse range of climates and soil types that allow for the cultivation of various crops. The main crops grown in Turkey include wheat, barley, corn, rice, sugar beet, and tobacco. Turkey produces a wide range of fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, apricots, cherries, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplants among others. Additionally, the country has a thriving farm industry that includes cotton production and cattle farming. Turkey is also committed to sustainable food systems.

Industrial Crops

The production of industrial crops is also significant in Turkey's agriculture industry. Cotton production is one of the most important industries in Turkey because it provides raw materials for textile manufacturing companies. Sunflower seed is another vital industrial crop produced in Turkey. It is used to produce cooking oil and animal feed. Wheat is also a major crop grown on Turkish farms, contributing to the country's position in the world as a leading wheat producer. Sheep farming is also prevalent in Turkey, with many farmers raising sheep for their wool and meat production.

Food Processing Industry

The food processing industry, which receives support from Turkey's agriculture sector, is an essential part of the country's economy. The numerous food processing plants manufacture various products such as dairy products (cheese and yogurt), meat products (sausages), pasta and canned foods (tomato paste) using locally grown wheat and cotton. These factories employ thousands of people across the country, contributing to a significant percent of the nation's workforce.

Tree Nut Exports

Turkey is also known for its tree nut exports such as hazelnuts and pistachios which are grown mainly on small family farms along the Black Sea coast region. Turkish hazelnuts are highly sought after by chocolate manufacturers worldwide due to their excellent quality taste. In addition, wheat is also a major crop in Turkey, with the US being one of its biggest supporters. In fact, the US accounts for over 10 percent of Turkey's wheat exports.

Domestic Supply

Finally yet importantly, domestic supply meets not only national demand but also supports producers' needs with fertilizers or other necessary inputs at reasonable prices. Payments for wheat are made promptly, and the production of tonnes of wheat has increased by 10 percent.

Contribution of Agriculture to Turkey's GDP

Significant Contribution of Agriculture to Turkey's GDP

Gross farm receipts and income from agriculture, particularly wheat, are major contributors to the Turkish economy. Agriculture, which receives support payments from the government, is one of the most important sectors in Turkey, employing millions of people and contributing significantly to the country's gross domestic product (GDP). In fact, agriculture accounts for a significant percent of Turkey's GDP.

Gross Farm Receipts and Income from Agriculture

The agricultural sector in Turkey has been growing steadily over the years, with gross farm receipts accounting for a significant percent of the country's GDP. According to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute, the value added by agriculture, forestry, and fishing industries accounted for 6.4% of Turkey's GDP in 2020. This demonstrates that agriculture plays a vital role in driving economic growth in Turkey, especially with the support and payments provided to farmers for producing crops like wheat.

Total Factor Productivity

Total factor productivity (TFP) measures how efficiently inputs such as labor and capital are used to produce outputs like crops or livestock. In recent years, TFP in Turkish agriculture has increased due to advancements in technology and better farming practices. This increase has led to higher yields and greater income for farmers, who have also received payments and support from the government to further improve their production.

Government Support

Despite challenges such as emissions and climate change, government support through area payments and income support payments has helped sustain the agriculture industry in Turkey. Area payments are provided based on land use while income support payments are given based on production levels. These subsidies have helped farmers cope with market volatility caused by factors such as weather conditions or global demand shifts.

Land Consolidation for Improved Productivity

One of the major agricultural policy reforms in Turkey is land consolidation, which receives payments and support from the government to improve productivity and increase efficiency by merging small and fragmented plots of land into larger, more manageable units. The financial incentives provided by the government encourage farmers to participate in this program, which has proven successful in increasing yields and reducing production costs. By consolidating land, farmers can use modern machinery and equipment that would otherwise be too expensive for individual smallholders.

Input Subsidies for Increased Production

Another agricultural policy reform implemented by the Turkish government is the provision of input subsidies and payments to farmers. These subsidies and payments are designed to reduce the cost of inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides, making them more affordable for farmers. This policy aims to increase production levels by encouraging farmers to invest in their farms without facing significant financial burdens. The state also provides support through technical assistance programs that help farmers adopt best practices.

Irrigation System Improvements for Better Water Management

Water management is a critical aspect of agriculture in Turkey because it relies heavily on irrigation systems due to its arid climate. Therefore, another important agricultural policy reform is focused on improving irrigation systems across the country. The Turkish government has invested heavily in building new dams and reservoirs as well as rehabilitating existing ones. They have introduced modern irrigation technologies such as drip irrigation systems that are more efficient than traditional flood irrigation methods. Additionally, the government provides support and payments to farmers for adopting these new technologies.

Changes in Export Subsidies and Import Tariffs

The Turkish government has also made changes to its export subsidies and import tariffs policies aimed at supporting domestic agricultural production while protecting local producers from foreign competition. For instance, they have reduced export subsidies on certain products while increasing import tariffs on others to ensure support for the local farmers. This approach aims at creating a level playing field between domestic producers and foreign competitors while ensuring food security.

Agricultural Insurance Programs for Risk Mitigation

Finally, the Turkish government implemented an agricultural insurance program to support farmers. This policy aims to mitigate the risks associated with farming, such as crop failure due to natural disasters or pests. The state provides financial support to farmers who purchase insurance policies that cover losses incurred during these events.

Effectiveness of Agricultural Policy Reforms in Turkey

Institutional Capacity: A Major Challenge in Implementing Agricultural Policy Reforms in Turkey

One of the major challenges in implementing agricultural policy reforms in Turkey is institutional capacity. The country has a complex and fragmented institutional structure, which makes it difficult to coordinate policies across different government agencies. This has often resulted in overlapping responsibilities, conflicting mandates, and bureaucratic inefficiencies that have hindered the effective implementation of agricultural policies. However, with adequate support, these challenges can be overcome.

To address this challenge, the Turkish government has taken several measures to improve institutional capacity. For example, it has established new institutions such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) and the Turkish Grain Board (TMO) to streamline policy implementation and ensure better coordination among various stakeholders. It has invested heavily in training programs for public officials and farmers to enhance their skills and knowledge about modern farming techniques, providing much-needed support.

Deficiency Payments: An Effort to Support Farmers and Increase Productivity

Another measure that the Turkish government has taken to support farmers is introducing deficiency payments. These are direct payments made to farmers who produce certain crops at a price lower than the market value. The aim is to provide an incentive for farmers to increase productivity by reducing their risk of income loss due to low prices.

While deficiency payments have been introduced with good intentions to support farmers, their effectiveness is still being evaluated. Some experts argue that these payments may lead to overproduction of certain crops, which could result in excess supply and lower prices. Others suggest that these payments should be accompanied by other measures such as crop diversification programs or improved marketing channels for farmers in order to provide more comprehensive support.

The Government's Strategy: Increasing Agricultural Exports

The Turkish government's strategy to increase agricultural exports has resulted in a 15 percent growth in the sector, with strong support from the country's favorable climate conditions and fertile soil. These factors have enabled the production of high-quality fruits, vegetables, grains, and livestock products that are sought after by many countries around the world.

To capitalize on its competitive advantages, Turkey has implemented several measures to support and boost agricultural exports. For example, it has established trade agreements with many countries to reduce trade barriers and increase market access for its products. It has also invested in modernizing its infrastructure such as ports, airports, and highways to support the transportation of goods.


Room for Improvement: Enhancing the Effectiveness of Agricultural Policy Reforms

Despite some progress made in recent years, there is still room for improvement in the effectiveness of agricultural policy reforms in Turkey. Some experts suggest that the government should focus on improving access to credit for farmers, promoting sustainable farming practices, and increasing investment in research and development to enhance productivity. Additionally, there is a need for more support from the government to ensure these reforms are implemented effectively.

Moreover, addressing institutional capacity issues remains a critical priority. The government needs to continue investing in training programs for public officials and farmers while streamlining its institutional structure to ensure better coordination among various stakeholders. It is important to provide adequate support for these programs to ensure their success.

Challenges Faced by Turkish Agriculture

Drought and Climate Change: Threats to Turkish Agriculture

Turkish agriculture faces a range of challenges that threaten its sustainability. Among the most pressing are drought and climate change, which have become increasingly severe in recent years. These factors have led to water scarcity, soil degradation, and crop failure, all of which have serious implications for farmers. To address these issues, it is crucial for the government to provide support to farmers through policies and initiatives that promote sustainable farming practices.

Drought is a particularly significant challenge for Turkish agriculture, which requires support. In recent years, many parts of Turkey have experienced extended periods of dry weather, leading to reduced crop yields and increased food insecurity. This has been exacerbated by climate change, which has made droughts more frequent and severe.

To address these challenges, farmers need access to reliable sources of water. However, water resources in Turkey are limited, and water supply can be unpredictable due to changing weather patterns. To overcome this issue, farmers need access to better irrigation systems that can help them use water more efficiently. They also need support from government agencies and other organizations in the form of funding for new technologies such as drip irrigation systems or rainwater harvesting techniques.

Food Loss Due to Inadequate Storage Facilities

Another major challenge facing Turkish agriculture is the lack of support for proper storage facilities, leading to food loss. Many farmers do not have access to adequate storage facilities for their crops, resulting in spoilage and waste. This not only causes economic losses for farmers but also contributes significantly to food insecurity in the country.

To address this issue, there needs to be greater investment in infrastructure such as cold storage facilities or warehouses where crops can be stored safely for longer periods without spoiling. There needs to be greater education among farmers about proper storage techniques so they can preserve their crops more effectively.

High Costs of Production: A Barrier for Farmers

The high costs of production are another significant barrier faced by Turkish farmers today. The cost of inputs such as seeds or fertilizers has risen steadily over the past few years while prices for crops remain low due to competition from imports or oversupply. This has led to significant losses for farmers, making it difficult for them to sustain their livelihoods.

To address this issue, there needs to be greater support for farmers in the form of subsidies or other financial assistance. There needs to be greater investment in research and development of new crop varieties that are better adapted to local conditions and can help farmers reduce their input costs.

Water Pricing Policies: Need for Reform

Finally, water pricing policies need to be reformed in Turkey if sustainable use of water resources is to be achieved. Currently, water is often priced well below its true value, leading to wasteful use and overconsumption. This not only exacerbates water scarcity but also leads to environmental degradation.

To address this issue, there needs to be greater transparency in water pricing policies so that the true cost of water is reflected in prices. There needs to be greater education among farmers about the importance of conserving water resources and using them more efficiently.


Future Outlook for Agriculture in Turkey

Turkey's Future Outlook for Agriculture

Turkish agriculture is an important sector of the economy, contributing significantly to the country's GDP and providing employment opportunities for millions of people. In recent years, Turkey has made significant progress in increasing its agricultural exports, with a plan to reach $40 billion by 2023. Here are some key factors that have contributed to this growth.

Increasing Use of Fertilizers

The use of fertilizers has increased in Turkey, leading to higher yields and better prices for farmers. This has been particularly beneficial for crops such as wheat, barley, and corn, which are widely cultivated across the country. According to a report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Turkey's fertilizer consumption per hectare increased from 29 kilograms in 2000 to 57 kilograms in 2017.

Diversification of Crops

Turkey is now the world's largest exporter of dried figs and hazelnuts, and it is also a significant producer of apricots, cherries, and pomegranates. The country has been able to diversify its crop production due to favorable climatic conditions and government initiatives aimed at promoting new crops. For instance, under the GAP (Southeast Anatolia Project) project launched in 1977, more than one million hectares were brought under irrigation across nine provinces.

Investment in Infrastructure Projects

Turkey has invested heavily in infrastructure projects that have improved access to markets for farmers. The country has built new roads and highways connecting rural areas with urban centers as well as ports on the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea coasts. These investments have helped reduce transportation costs for farmers while also enabling them to reach export markets more easily.

Seasonal Workers

Agriculture is a labor-intensive industry that relies heavily on seasonal workers during peak harvest periods. In Turkey, many seasonal workers come from neighboring countries such as Syria and Iraq due to their proximity and shared language. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted this flow of labor, leading to a shortage of workers in some areas.

The Significance of Agriculture for Turkey's Economy

Turkey's agriculture industry is a crucial sector that plays a significant role in the country's economy. With its diverse climate and fertile land, Turkey has become one of the world's leading producers of agricultural products. The agriculture industry employs approximately 19% of the country's workforce and contributes around 7% to Turkey's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The Turkish government has implemented various reforms to improve the agriculture industry, including subsidies for farmers, infrastructure development, and increased research and development efforts. These policies have led to an increase in productivity and efficiency within the sector.

Despite these positive developments, Turkish agriculture still faces many challenges. Climate change, water scarcity, soil degradation, and pests are some of the significant issues that affect crop yields and threaten food security in the country. Small-scale farmers struggle with access to credit and technical support.

Looking towards the future, there are opportunities for growth within Turkey's agriculture industry. The country has untapped potential for organic farming and can benefit from increased exports of value-added products such as processed fruits and vegetables.

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