Farmers in Turkey's Thrace feel neglected as government opens way for imported wheat
31.07.2017 13:01 BİRGÜN DAİLY

ELÇİN YILDIRAL

[email protected] / @elcinyildiral

Farmers in Turkey’s Thrace are upset as their wheat was sold for less than 1 TL (0.28 USD) per kilo. Farmers in southern and Aegean provinces began their harvest earlier during the year and were able to sell their wheat for 1.2 TL per kilo. By the time it was harvest season in Thrace, however, the price of wheat went down to 0.80 TL (80 Kuruş).

Since the decrease in the price of their produced wheat was mainly due to the government’s last minute regulation which lowered the customs tarriff on wheat from 130% to 45%, opening the way for more imported wheat to enter the country’s market with lower prices.

It’s a step considered by the local farmers of the northwestern region of the country as a blow on ‘domestic agriculture’.

A farmer in the Yağcı village of the province of Tekirdağ, Hamdi Hünkar mentions that their province produces one twentieth of the whole wheat production in the country and criticizes the government’s inconsideration of their produce. Hünkar also notes that they had to sell their wheat in prices that were lower than the average price in the world market.

The fact that the wholesale price of wheat has not increased although price of wheat bread has doubled. “The cost of expenses for the farmer has constantly increased. Let alone making profit, we have got into a debt. We are not able to put the prices for any of the products we produce. The prices of goods we sell and buy are determined by others. And, we just obey”, says the disappointed farmer and also expresses discontent over the variations in state support to farmers in different regions across the country.

“We want a national policy for agriculture in this country”, he says and drew attention to the presence of a higher education institution on agriculture in their region and complained about its lack of assistance to the farmers.

Farmers in the Thrace also have become suspicious about a discriminiative approach of authorities towards their region on purpose. ‘Is this because we have not voted for AKP?’, the farmer questions.

Front-page article of BirGün published on 31 July 2017, Monday with the headline of 'Government officials bring domestic agriculture to an end by giving way to imports'

Source: http://www.birgun.net/haber-detay/trakyali-ciftciler-cezalandirildi-mi-172315.html