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Innovation, Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability in Turkey

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Productivity growth in the Turkish agricultural sector is supported today by better technologies, crop varieties and animal breeds. Yet improvements have slowed since the late 2000s, and the productivity gap between agriculture and the rest of the economy remains large. To overcome these challenges, Turkey will need to reduce the substantial technological and human resource disparities between small-holder and commercial segments in agriculture, and ensure more equal regional development. Considerable structural adjustment is also required, both within agriculture and in the overall economy, supported by broad policy actions in the areas of labour, education, social security systems, and land reform. Important efforts have been made to boost national innovation systems, but there remains considerable catch up in terms of the quality and impact of R&D.

 

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Executive summary

The Turkish agro-food sector has the potential to significantly contribute to the country’s overall economic development, but its ability to do so will depend largely on productivity growth. To achieve this, a fundamental challenge will be to overcome the buffer role traditionally played by agriculture; labour resources must be re-allocated to more efficient uses within and outside this sector. In essence, agricultural productivity growth in Turkey will depend on the extent to which the country’s overall economic and human development enables rural people to generate income outside low-technology agriculture.

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