A severe drought has hit eastern Turkey this year especially in the cities of Muş, Erzincan, Dersim and Bingöl.
Farmers living in Taşlı Yayla village in the Varto district of Muş, eastern Turkey told Pirha that they cannot stock hay and dried grass as they have in previous years to feed their animals due to the drought.
Having not been able to sufficiently feed their livestock, farmers are worried that their animals may face starvation this year.
As their only source of income is livestock breeding and agriculture, farmers shared their concerns about the lack of financial aid and support from the state, saying that they might have to sell their livestock to make ends meet.
Noting that honeybees brought to Varto from Ordu in previous years, did not come this year because there are precious few flowers in Muş anymore, farmers stated that they could not effectively harvest vegetables and get fruits from their trees this year due to the drought.
”Drought will cause animal husbandry to come to an end,” said a farmer named Fethi who has been raising cattle for twenty years in Muş.
”Last year there was hay, but this year there is no hay due to the lack of rainfall. While the hay bale was 20 [Turkish] Lira last year, it is 40 Lira this year. A bag of animal fodder was 85 Lira last year, this year it is 140-160 Lira.”
“If the drought continues like this, many people will leave this town. Our livelihood depends on our livestock. There is nothing else, no other kind of job,” said Cemal Han, one of the livestock farmers.