Turkey Plans to Lease Foreign Farmland

Via the Hurriyet Daily News, a report on Turkey’s plan to lease farmland in foreign countries such as Venezuela and Sudan:

Turkey plans to lease farmlands in several counties in Africa and Latin America to grow crops to boost agricultural production amid growing global concerns over food security.

Authorities have been exploring such opportunities in 10 nations, besides Venezuela and Sudan.

Agriculture and Forestry Minister Vahit Kirişçi recently discussed this plan with a group of lawmakers.

Local production meets domestic consumption but still leasing farmlands in foreign countries is necessary if the aim is to export agricultural products, Kirişçi told MPs.

“There are such large lands in Southern Africa and we can grow products there. We are also considering some Latin American countries,” he said.

The minister explained that Turkish farmers are moving to large cities, and because of this population move, lands in rural areas are left idle.

The General Directorate of Agricultural Enterprises (TIGEM) will coordinate the project for leasing farmlands in other nations.

Turkey previously leased 850,000 hectares of land in Sudan, but this venture did not yield the desired results. This time around, authorities will focus on products that cannot be grown in Turkey due to climate conditions or are produced in insufficient amounts.

Officials from the Agriculture Ministry are holding talks to lease lands in 10 nations, including African and Latin American counties, as well as Ukraine.

The project will prioritize the production of corn, sunflower, cotton and sugarcane. But, pineapple, mango and canola will also be produced, both for domestic consumption and export purposes.

According to plans under consideration, Turkish private companies will use those leased lands for agricultural production. The issue of leasing land was on the agenda during Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro’s recent visit to Turkey. Maduro said Turkey could lease 400,000 hectares of land in Venezuela to grow wheat.

The output could be split 70 to 30 between Turkey and Venezuela, he offered.

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About This Blog And Its Author
Seeds Of A Revolution is committed to defining the disruptive geopolitics of the global Farms Race.  Due to the convergence of a growing world population, increased water scarcity, and a decrease in arable land & nutrient-rich soil, a spike of international investment interest in agricultural is inevitable and apt to bring a heretofore domestic industry into a truly global realm.  Whether this transition involves global land leases or acquisitions, the fundamental need for food & the protectionist feelings this need can give rise to is highly likely to cause such transactions to move quickly into the geopolitical realm.  It is this disruptive change, and the potential for a global farms race, that Seeds Of A Revolution tracks, analyzes, and forecasts.

Educated at Yale University (Bachelor of Arts - History) and Harvard (Master in Public Policy - International Development), Monty Simus has long held a keen interest in natural resource policy and the geopolitical implications of anticipated stresses in the areas of freshwater scarcity, biodiversity reserves & parks, and farm land.  Monty has lived, worked, and traveled in more than forty countries spanning Africa, China, western Europe, the Middle East, South America, and Southeast & Central Asia, and his personal interests comprise economic development, policy, investment, technology, natural resources, and the environment, with a particular focus on globalization’s impact upon these subject areas.  Monty writes about freshwater scarcity issues at www.waterpolitics.com and frontier investment markets at www.wildcatsandblacksheep.com.