Türkiye's soaring food prices put consumers under strain-Xinhua

Türkiye's soaring food prices put consumers under strain

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-08-21 04:46:15

This photo taken on Aug. 17, 2023 shows a view of a fruit and vegetable market in Ankara, Türkiye. (Photo by Mustafa Kaya/Xinhua)

by Burak Akinci

ANKARA, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Summer was usually a period when Turkish citizens have some respite from soaring prices, but it is not the case this year.

Agricultural production dropped by climate change, coupled with high inflation, driving food prices up, which put consumers in the country under serious strain.

According to the July inflation data announced by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), the annual inflation rate rose to nearly 50 percent. Among the food products with the highest price surge, vegetables have the lead by 20.1 percent and fresh fruits by 15.7 percent.

People shop at a fruit and vegetable market in Ankara, Türkiye on Aug. 17, 2023. (Photo by Mustafa Kaya/Xinhua)

In a marketplace in the capital Ankara's 100 Yil neighborhood, both customers and sellers are dissatisfied with the prices.

Ege Ozcan, a customer in his twenties, told Xinhua that compared to previous weeks, a fresh rise is on price tags in the market.

"We have to cut back on everything, from social activities to buying food products," he complained.

Erdogan Atas, a disillusioned watermelon seller, said that "we, as vendors, have difficulty selling our products as clients cannot afford them because of food inflation."

"The price of watermelons has risen between 100 and 130 percent," he said, adding that the rising costs of farming have caused prices to soar.

According to the TurkStat, food prices have increased by 54 percent annually in Türkiye, a rise which is continuing for 34 consecutive months, since August 2020.

Meanwhile, the Turkish central bank projected the inflation rate for food prices to reach 61 percent at the end of 2023.

Ali Ekber Yildirim, a journalist and author specializing in agricultural industry, said on his video blog that sudden temperature changes this year have harmed the production and quality of many crops, especially tomatoes, of which Türkiye is a big producer.

"The crops deteriorated due to excessive rainfall and extreme heat," he explained.

Rising gasoline and diesel prices increased costs not only in production but also in transportation, and thus made food more expensive.

Along with the fluctuation in foreign exchange, fertilizer prices have increased by up to 33 percent in July, Semsi Bayraktar, president of the Union of Chambers of Agriculture of Türkiye, said in early August.

"Food prices will continue to rise in the current conditions," he warned.

To deal with challenges posed by the climate crisis, Türkiye's Agriculture and Forestry Minister Ibrahim Yumakli announced plans to implement policies that aimed at improving agricultural production and supporting producers and protect consumers. 


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