16 October 2004
Turkey is applying revolutionary reforms to agriculture, which is the sector Turkey will be most criticized on during the European Union (EU) negotiation process.
The Document of Agricultural Strategy proposed that direct income support payments are lowered from 78 to 45 percent. The difference will be paid in production support in fields such as corn, soy, stockbreeding, beekeeping and fishing.
Farmers will receive help in product marketing and renewal of facilities under the new reforms. As deficiencies related to Agricultural Insurance are addressed in response to one of the EU directives, resources are to be set aside for the reunification of land diminished by inheritance.
The head of Turkey's Chambers of Agriculture Union, Semsi Bayraktar, predicts that Turkish farmers will gain new opportunities in addition to being made to face risks on Turkey's path of accession to the EU.
Bayraktar recalled Poland's experience citing: "Poland broke a record in agricultural exports by making crops suitable for EU standards. I believe that we will overcome the adaptation process even though it is quite difficult."
Unal Tuncer, a farmer, defines the shift of income support to other fields as appropriate, saying: "We have already received that money in dribbles. We will take action based on what we know about how much money can be gained and where even if income support is shifted."
The Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs paid attention after the announcement of the EU Progress Report was released on October 6th. Deputy Secretary Hasim Ogut declared that the laws about veterinary medicine, seeding, and fishery products will be discussed in the Parliament this year. Ogut disclosed that the Agricultural Strategy document was the main component of the Law of Agriculture Frame expected to be completed by late 2004 and stressed that the new regulations would increase investment in the villages.
15 October 2004