THE ROLE OF AGRICULTURAL SUPPORTS IN SUSTAINABLE RURAL DEVELOPMENT: THE CASE OF TURKEY

Sema Konyali, Yasemin Oraman

Abstract


Sustainable rural development is vital to the economic, social and environmental viability of nations. It is essential for poverty eradication since global poverty is overwhelmingly rural. Rural development should be viewed as the core of any viable strategy for national development in developing countries where an average 2/3 of the population live in rural areas. It is important for agriculture to keep rural population in place by developing the rural and increasing its attractiveness. Agriculture is the primary means of living in countryside throughout the world. Therefore, it is evident that agricultural supports are effective in reducing poverty in rural parts of the country and ensuring sustainability.

Turkey’s agricultural economy is among the top ten in the world, with half of the country consisting of agricultural land and nearly a quarter of the population employed in agriculture. But, the rapid industrialization of Turkey after 1930's and government policies caused agriculture's share to decline in overall income. This caused the fall of economic standards of the farmers and contributed to emigration from rural to urban areas. Agricultural supports given to producers are important in order to keep the rural population in place. However in Turkey, agricultural supports meet a small portion of the input cost of the producer and the increase in input prices is higher than the increase in product prices. Some years, supports are insufficient for producers. According to the agreement with the IMF's agricultural support, it is limited to 1% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product). But the producers have taken only the half of their support. These supports must be increased for protecting producers. Because the input prices are very high in Turkey and producers are affected negatively. Supports should increase the farmer’s income and resolve the structural problems of the sector in order to build a sector that is competitive and independent. However, such supports are not alone sufficient in explaining farmer welfare and rural poverty. There are several natural, economic, social, cultural, and even political factors affecting agricultural and rural welfare levels. The sources allocated to rural development projects that contribute to reverse the migration trends by improving the working and living conditions in rural spaces must be increased. Because developing the farmer means developing the agriculture, economy and country. Therefore, it is extremely important to implement consistent and sustainable agricultural policies in agriculture.

In this research, the current situation of agricultural support policies, their effects to farmers and to sustainable rural development were evaluated and solutions were offered regarding these problems.


Keywords


Sustainable rural development, Agricultural supports, Producer, Support policy, Turkey

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