Food insecurity in the age of neoliberalism in Turkey and its neighbors

Öztürk, Murat; Gür, Faik; Jongerden, J.P.


Drawing on national and international data sets, we argue in this chapter that food security is weaker in countries and regions where conflict (military unrest, civil war, etc.) and neoliberal agricultural policies coincide, regardless of how powerful their agriculture has been in the past. We contend that while high input prices and liberalized market conditions negatively affect food accessibility much more than production, the production itself is fragile because of high prices of inputs and the cost of waste, transportation, and storage, particularly in a country like Turkey, where small-scale producers dominate agrarian structures. This inevitably transforms food accessibility into a structural problem. Given that putting burdens on small-scale farming triggers rural-to-urban flight and increases unemployment rates and thus poverty, abandoning neoliberal agricultural policies and supporting small-scale farming cannot be considered just an ethical position; on the contrary, it is the solution to the food security issues in Turkey and in the region.