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Agrarian Change under Globalization: Markets and Insecurity in Turkish Agriculture

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This paper argues that deepening commodification in Turkish agriculture has changed the lives of farmers in significant ways. Global circuits have swept away the accustomed networks of information, production and marketing which had been largely established and maintained by comprehensive governmental support policies. New institutions have come into the picture establishing the links between small producers and larger markets. With state policy strengthening the domination of the market, prices and demand patterns fluctuate widely leaving small producers vulnerable to market forces and raising the level of risk and insecurity. This situation brings about a rapid de-ruralization of the population in most regions of the country. In the fertile coastal strip of the southern and western provinces, however, commercial opportunities introduced by global circuits have led to a thriving market in products, land, and labour. Farming of vegetables and fruits for domestic and European markets dominate agricultural production. Seasonal employment, in tourism and in labour-intensive crops, supplement household incomes, permitting the rural population to remain in the countryside.
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Keywords: Turkey; globalization; greenhouses; land markets; seasonal employment; state policy; tourism

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2011

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