“Warning of disasters as a result of climate change is given for the near future, but these disasters are happening these days. Unusual climate events have been becoming usual. Disasters caused by excessive rainfall are experienced one after another. Hurricanes very rarely experienced in Turkey and in neighboring countries previously are now a part of everyday talk because of climate change. One of these hurricanes missed Turkey but hit Greece that caused great havoc in this country. Because of extreme rainfall, many people could not harvest in the Southeast Anatolia and also carry out the winter sowing. Thus, every country should make the climate change a priority without thinking that this change will not affect them and assume responsibility for precaution.”
CEO of Pasta Industrialists Association of Turkey
Everybody knows that climate change affects mostly the agricultural production. Impact of this change on agricultural manifests itself on the food security and international trade while excess or shortage of production influences the economic equilibrium at large extent.
The agricultural production cannot be carried out at those countries affected by the natural disasters, and the production goes down. Naturally, the supply cannot meet the demand. Food prices are speculated. Recently, the food products are the most important investment instrument. As a result of these, we see price hike in all around the world.
In fact, warning of disasters as a result of climate change is given for the near future, but these disasters are happening these days. Unusual climate events have been becoming usual. Disasters caused by excessive rainfall are experienced one after the other. Hurricanes very rarely experienced in Turkey and neighboring countries previously are now a part of everyday talk because of climate change. One of these hurricanes missed Turkey but hit Greece that caused great havoc in this country. Because of extreme rainfall, many people could not harvest in the Southeast Anatolia and also carry out the winter sowing. Thus, every country should make the climate change a priority without thinking that this change will not affect them and assume responsibility for precaution.
The importance of sustainable agriculture has been evident as a result of rapid increase in population of Turkey and the world. The sufficient yield that meets farmers’ labor and enables industrialists to compete in the foreign market and the creation of balanced price policy are inevitable for the sustainability of agriculture-based industry. It is vital to cultivate the agricultural products inside of the country that meet the industrialists’ need in quality and amount; and also these products should be in the price range that satisfies the farmers and allows the industrialists for competition in foreign markets.
Considering that dryland agriculture is carried out in the eighty percent of the total agricultural land of Turkey, it is evident that the agricultural production is directly related to the rainfall. So, studies show that climate change will lower the production productivity in Turkey between fifteen and twenty-five percent.
According to the 2018 Crop Production Statistics released by Turkish Statistical Institute, the production amount is lowered at 5.8 percent in grain and other crops and 2.6 percent in vegetables when compared to the previous year. Because of the decrease in yield and quality, the increase in imports and the decrease in exports are inevitable.
That’s why harmonization works with climate change should be accelerated. It is very important that each shareholder works for common targets and strategies in a coordinated and organized fashion for this necessity.
The fight against climate change and adaptation strategies should be put in place and implemented. In this sense, some precautions can be taken: planning can be carried out in the anticipation of possible changes in the climate; the climate projections can be carried out reliable agriculture production areas and the product diversification can be implemented at anticipated climate change. In addition, training farmers on the climate change can help mitigate problems caused by climate change.
The contractual production model, becoming cooperative, land consolidation, and farmer training will also be very effective in reducing the effects of climate change.
In 2018, as the Pasta Industrialists Association, we broke grounds in two important events that affect the agricultural production planning and the selection of policies, which will help lower the adverse effects of climate change.
First of all, we started a joint project with the Department of Agricultural Economics of Central Research Institute of Field Crops of General Directorate of Agricultural Research and Policies (TAGEM) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry – a joint project that will present the current picture in the chain ranging from durum wheat producer to consumer and in each ring according to the developing and changing world conditions in the sector and also will determine the desire and preferences of producers, industrialists, and consumers and will provide data to the pasta sector. With this project, it is planned to explore decision having impact on the durum wheat production in Turkey, the raw material demand and marketing structure of pasta facilities, and pasta consumption habits of consumers.
As the second initiative, we signed “Goodwill Protocol on Cooperation Regarding Domestic Durum Wheat Purchase and Sale,” with the Directorate General of the Central Union of Agricultural Credit Cooperatives on December 2018 in order to provide support and ensure continuity of cultivation of the durum wheat in the quantity and quality demanded by our industry with our country’s resources. Thanks to this protocol, our members will start to implement the contracted agricultural production model.
THE FIRST DUTY OF EACH COUNTRY
In a situation where there is a rapid increase of the world population, a decline in agricultural production and food supply, and a concern that the global food crisis can happen, each country is required to take steps to meet the domestic consumption and take precautions to increase production permanently. If there were a food crisis, it is serious issue for every country how and where they will meet the food need. Since we are talking food, countries have to meet the food demand by people and to ensure the food safety.
According to the study researched by Professor İlkay Dellal, it is estimated that Turkey’s wheat production will lower 8.18 percent with the effect of climate change.
The Union of Turkish Agricultural Chambers announced that approximately 5.5 percent of cultivated wheat is lost because the harvest is carried out during outside of period of harvest maturity, fight against pest is not adequate, and untrained people use harvester. Although it is not possible to eliminate the lost, the percentage of loss is no more than two percent in developed countries. This loss can be prevented in the coming harvest period, and if so, this will mitigate the yield loss as a result of climate change.
It is getting difficult to feed people without providing solution to climate change that is one of the biggest dangers. In order to feed ever increasing world population in line with food security without being subjected to hunger, all countries have to regard the increase of production, the minimization of waste, and food provision and balanced distribution as their first duty.