While the Turkish economy grew by 5,2 percent in the second quarter, the agricultural sector shrank by 1,5 percent. Despite the export increase in agricultural production, tourism growth and high rate of increase in food and beverage production, it seems that the shrinkage in agriculture also hit food expenses of labourers during the economic crisis.
One of the most remarkable developments in GDP data issued by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TURKSTAT) on September 10 was the shrinkage in the agricultural sector. The total value added decreased by 1,5 percent in the agricultural sector in the second quarter of 2018 compared with the same quarter of the previous year. While the exports of agricultural products increased by almost 10 percent in the same period, the production in food and beverage sectors, which agricultural products provide input, rose by approximately 13 percent.
Having a significant share in the demand for agricultural products, tourism sector also achieved a considerable growth compared to the previous years in the same period: The number of tourists visiting the country in the second quarter increased by 25 percent compared with the same period of previous year.
Well then, why did the agricultural added value decrease?
An important factor in this decline is that the rapid depreciation of Turkish Lira increased the costs and caused decreasing purchasing power.
Yet it is also estimated that especially working class began to significantly tighten their belts due to the astronomical price increases in certain products such as onion, potatoes, eggs and tomatoes in May and June because of the fact that agricultural production has been completely left to the initiative of market and food and retailer chains.
Thus, the chaos in the market combined with the current financial crisis hit the food expenses of labourers in Turkey.