The drought this year has worsened conditions for farming communities, already significantly affected by the economic crisis which has led to high inflation rates negatively impacting on the agriculture and animal husbandry sector in Turkey.
Farmers have been calling upon the government to provide support and caps on input prices. The agriculture and animal husbandry sectors, which constitute the main (and often only) sources of income for many communities living in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish south-east, have been recently severely affected by the drought.
Agricultural yields this year have been significantly less than anticipated due to the shortage of rainfall. Many villagers are now desperately seeking a way out of this crisis as their income is not sufficient to sustain their basic needs.
Esmer Kumli, a farmer toiling for days to harvest the wheat crop on the outskirts of Erek Mountain in the south-eastern city of Van (Wan), states that local farmers have not been able to irrigate the fields properly because of the water shortage, Jin News reports.
Kumli stated that they have always tried to cover their expenditure by selling milk from their cows and wheat from their field, but this year, such income will be insufficient to see them through the desperate financial situation they find themselves in.
“You see, I start the day cleaning the house, making the meal, feeding the chickens and cows. Then I go out to the field to help my husband,” she said. “We have got to prepare for the winter. I have no idea how we’ll get along. I have no one to expect anything from … We’re working so hard, I just want to get what we deserve.”
This year, instead of paying for a combine harvester, they are harvesting the crop the conventional way using the sickle, because they don’t have the money to pay for the harvester. “We were planning to make some money by selling the flour afterwards, but there has been an increase in the price of gas again. We will not even be able to have the grain ground,” she said. “The price increases must stop. Agriculture and animal husbandry must be supported.”