SUPPORT POLICIES FOR ORGANIC FARMING IN TURKEY

Sema Konyali, Burçin Başaran, Yasemin Oraman

Abstract


Organic farming is a technique, which involves cultivation of plants and rearing of animals in natural ways. In other words, organic farming is a farming method that involves growing and nurturing crops without the use of synthetic based fertilizers and pesticides. Organic farming aims to protect the life-sustaining resources and natural life by maintaining the natural balance. Organic production in Turkey started in the 1980s in the Aegean region due to a demand for organic goods in Europe. Since then, organic production and export in Turkey have increased. Turkey, according to the latest (2016) statistics in 523 777 hectares, 67 878 farmer by 2 473 600 tons of organic product is obtained. In 2004, the Organic Agriculture Law in Turkey was put into practice to provide a legal framework for the organization and enhancement of the organic sector. The objective of the law is to lay down principles and procedures for relevant measures to be taken in relation to the production of organic products and inputs so as to provide high quality and safe organic products to consumers. This law is also important as a part of European Union (EU) harmonization.

In Turkey, using intensive inputs (especially agricultural chemicals and fertilizer) in the agriculture the balance of the nature gradually is disturbed. Although the unconscious use of agricultural chemicals and fertilizers has led to increase in crop production, it has resulted in products that are of poor quality and threaten human health in Turkey in recent years. Therefore, organic farming is important to optimize the health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants, animals and people. Organic farming is supported by government in Turkey. The subsidies for organic food are an important factor in the economic viability of organic farming and play an important role in sustaining the income of farmers. In 2017, organic agriculture support was given to producers for fruits and vegetables as 100 TL/decare and for field crops as 30 TL/ decare. When these ratios were compared with 2013, they have increased by 2 times in fruits and vegetables and increased 3 times in field crops. Despite the supports and efforts to promote organic production, domestic consumption and awareness of organic products remain relatively limited. Organic products are often viewed by consumers as a luxury crop because they are expensive. Agricultural policies have an important role to play in facilitating organic agriculture. Turkey should provide production growth in organic agriculture products and develop effective trade policies by considering both the domestic market and international markets. In addition, the supports given by the state for organic farming should be increased every year and producers that passing to the organic farming should be encouraged.

In this research, the current situation and support policies for organic farming were evaluated and solutions were offered regarding these problems.


Keywords


organic farming, organic production, support policy, Turkey.

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