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Turkey's 2011 Agricultural Boom

12 January 2012

TURKEY - 2011 was a boom year for Turkey's agriculture. According to official statistics, the sector, which accounts for 5.6 million jobs out of around 25 million in total, grew by 5.3 per cent in the first three quarters of the year.

The agricultural sector has therefore expanded in seven of the past eight years, despite the destructive effects of the global financial crisis, writes Taylan Bilgic for World Crops.

Turkey’s 2011 agricultural exports broke a new record, rising to $17.9 billion, a 19 per cent rise year-on-year. Turkey’s agricultural growth has created plenty of jobs. As of September, Turkey’s jobless rate was at 8.8 per cent, way below the average 2009 rate of 14 per cent.

Jobs created in the agriculture sector have been contributing massively to the overall figures for the past few years. This is at odds with what might be expected in a developing economy. According to data from the Confederation of Turkish Employers’ Unions, agriculture has been a key contributor to job creation since 2005.

The widely predicted net labour force migration from agriculture to industry and services, with an expected 100,000 jobs a year lost to agriculture, has ground to a halt. Between 2007-2010, Turkish agricultural employment increased by 17 per cent, while the sector’s share in total employment rose by 1.7 per cent above the 2007 level.

Might 2012 see a continuation of this trend? That is pretty much dependent on what happens in the eurozone – Turkey’s biggest trade partner.

TheCropSite News Desk

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