Page 53 - Water and DSİ

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4.2. Agriculture and Irrigation in Turkey
Since the amount of fresh water is not enough to meet the increasing demands of world
population, fresh water sources are regarded as strategically important commodity. In the future,
the most important factor affecting the use and quality of water resources will be the population.
In 2011, the world population has been 7 Billion and it is estimated to be 9.1 billion in 2050. In
other words, the world population will increase 30% by 2050. Even today, total annual food
production in the world seems not to be enough in meeting the world food consumption.
Furthermore, there are differences in the amount of food production per capita among the regions
in the world. In developed countries, less than 5% of general population involves in agriculture
sector and a farmer family besides its own needs can meet the food requirements of 50 people who
are active in non-agricultural sectors. In developing countries, 60% of general population is active
in agricultural sector; above mentioned figure is just limited to 2 people. Therefore, agricultural
sector is important for economic and social development of the country and food security as well.
Water in irrigation is one of the most important inputs in the agricultural sector. It enables the
agriculture partly independent upon climatic conditions, creates additional employment, improves
income distribution in rural areas, makes fertilizer use possible, increases a variety of production,
and results in yielding more than one crop depending on the length of the growing season In
addition to this economical contribution, irrigated agriculture halts migration to big cities and
brings about social benefit. Increased crop yield with irrigated agriculture contributes greatly to
food security of the country on the other hand it provides important inputs to the agricultural
industries. Since irrigation is a vigorous activity, success of irrigation depends on knowledge and
skills of farmers as well as good management by responsible authorities.
Turkey is one of the few countries self-sufficient in food production. It has richer endowment of
agricultural resources in terms of cultivable land and availability of water than any Middle Eastern
country. Its great agricultural advantage is the conjunction of ample land with a variety of climatic
conditions–all temperate-zone and Mediterranean climate crops can be grown, as can a number of
sub-tropical crops. This abundance of climatic conditions makes Turkey one of the few nations in
which such a variety of good quality crop and foodstuffs can be produced. Turkey is the largest
exporter of agricultural products in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Despite agriculture's relative decline as a percentage of GDP (8.2), the sector played an important
role in foreign trade. Turkey enjoys a comparative advantage in many agricultural products and
exports cereals, pulses, industrial crops, hazelnut, fresh and dried fruits, and vegetables. Turkey
primarily exports dried fruit and hazelnuts to European Union (EU) and United States of America
(USA). Middle East countries primarily imports fresh fruit and vegetables from Turkey.
In 2010, Turkey’s production quantities were 32.7 million tons of grain, 26 million tons of
vegetables and 16.6 million tons of fruits. The vegetal production is primarily made up of cereals,
pulses (edible seeds of various pod-bearing plants such as peas, beans, or lentils), industrial crops
(crops needing industrial process e.g., olive, sunflower, sugar beet, barley, and maize) and
perishables (e.g. fresh vegetables and fresh fruits). Of these, cereal crops occupy more than half of
the cultivated land. The main species of cereal crops produced in Turkey are wheat and barley. The
other cereals are oats, rye, maize, and millet. These crops are produced in most parts of the
country with a heavier concentration in the central regions. Cereals are generally grown in rainfed
agricultural areas but crop patterns vary and diversify greatly after irrigation. Crop patterns have
been identified by recent studies in DSİ irrigation schemes as follows: 12.8% cotton, 18.5% cereals,
22.2% maize, 5.9% sugar beet, 11.6% vegetables and fruits, 3.4% citrus, 4.6% forage crops and
21.10% other crops.