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The recent earthquakes that hit southeast Türkiye and Syria on February 6 have been described as the "disaster of the century" by many. The death toll has now been revised to over 40,642 as of Sunday, and the affected provinces are home to around 13.5 million people or 15% of Türkiye’s population. The region accounts for nearly 10% of the country's GDP, and the disaster has caused significant damage to local farmers and their crops.
In response to the earthquake, the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry has implemented a series of measures to help support farmers and their families. The ministry has announced that financial aid will be provided to farmers in the provinces affected by the earthquake, including Kahramanmaraş, Adana, Malatya, Hatay, Şanlıurfa, Kilis, Adıyaman, Diyarbakır, Gaziantep, Osmaniye, and Elazığ.
To support these farmers and help them resume production, the ministry has decided to replace diesel and fertilizer supports with cash payments totaling TL 2.8 billion, which will be deposited into farmers' accounts by the end of February. Additionally, the ministry has extended the deadline for producers applying for the Farmer Registration System (ÇKS) product update until May 8, 2023, giving farmers more time to complete the necessary paperwork for this year's production.
To further assist farmers, the ministry will also withdraw subsidies for raw milk, calves, brood sheep and goats, cattle fattening, beehives, and herd raising and renewal, amounting to TL 530 million throughout the year. These payments will be made in February for the provinces affected by the earthquake. Furthermore, approximately TL 1.5 billion of feed support will be given to 185,000 enterprises in these provinces, TL 500 per animal for 2 million cattle, and TL 50 per animal for 9 million sheep and goats.
The application period for the 2022-2023 period for agriculture-based economic investments within the scope of rural development supports has been extended to May 8, 2023, in the earthquake-affected provinces and to Feb. 28, 2023, in other areas. The deadlines for applications are May 8 for organic and good agricultural practices, March 31 for soil analysis support, and May 2 for oilseed crops difference payment support.
The general directorate of State Hydraulic Works and Forestry, among other agencies, is fully mobilized to assist in the recovery efforts. They are working diligently to address the issues within the jurisdiction of the ministry, and the teams are striving to clear the debris and prevent landslides. This will enable farmers to resume production as soon as possible and ease the burden on those affected by the earthquake.
The Agriculture and Forestry Minister, Vahit Kirişci, has expressed his condolences to the families who lost loved ones in the earthquake and wished a speedy recovery for the injured. He noted that all teams operating in the earthquake zone are working hard to take necessary measures to support farmers affected by the disaster. Their efforts are focused on two main objectives: helping people who suffered in this disaster and safeguarding the country's food security by eliminating any potential risks.
Copyright @ Artha Asia Agriculture 2023