A.M. Burrell, M. Kurzweil

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter provides an overview of the evolution of Turkey¿s agricultural policies in recent decades, examines the extent to which these policies may have distorted incentives, and attempts an explanation of the underlying forces that have driven the process and conditioned the results. The review period for the assessment begins in 1961 and continues up to 2007. To explain the situation prevailing at the start of this period, various trends and policy preferences are traced to earlier decades. Turkey experienced rapid population growth in the second half of the 20th century. Although the population more than tripled between 1950 and 2004, heavy out-migration to urban areas and overseas meant that the rural population grew at half that rate. The agricultural workforce fell from 84 percent of the working population in 1950 to 60 percent in 1970 and 34 percent in 2004. Despite healthy real growth rates for the economy as a whole, the economic performance of agriculture was poor. Average annual real growth rates in agriculture were around 1.6 percent in the 1970s, 0.6 percent in the 1980s, and 1.5 percent in the 1990s. In 1950, agriculture¿s share in gross national product was 41 percent, but, by 2004, it stood at only 12 percent. In the past 25 years, agriculture has experienced negative real growth in more than one year out of every three years. In 2002, nearly 20 percent of the rural population showed consumption levels 50 percent or more below the national average, and 36 percent of the population dependent on agriculture was living below the food and nonfood poverty lines (SIS 2004). And, yet, Turkish agriculture was highly supported throughout the closing decades of the 20th century. Total support to the sector exceeded 5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in some years. This chapter attempts to throw light on this enigma.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDistortions to Agricultural Incentives in Europe's Transition Economies
EditorsK. Anderson, J. Swinnen
Place of PublicationWashington
PublisherWorld Bank
Number of pages402
ISBN (Print)9780821374191
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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    Burrell, A. M., & Kurzweil, M. (2008). Turkey. In K. Anderson, & J. Swinnen (Eds.), Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Europe's Transition Economies (pp. 91-132). World Bank. https://doi.org/10.1596/978-0-8213-7419-1