Agriculture in Turkey has recently seen an uptick in foreign investment as Food, Agriculture and Livestock Minister Faruk Çelik confirmed that 85 foreign nationals from 23 different countries have procured 2,159 decares (534 acres) of agricultural land in 20 provinces.
Among foreign investors, the Gulf countries that look to Turkey to meet their food requirements have taken the lead.
Pointing out the fact that foreigners are able to purchase agricultural land in Turkey with the ministry's acquisition permit as of May 2012, Minister Çelik said, foreign nationals can procure agricultural land under the condition of carrying out agricultural projects, but only up to 30 hectares (74 acres) on the grounds of not exceeding 10 percent of the private property in the district.The minister added that if the acquired land is not used in an agricultural project or used out of purpose, the foreigner's land will be liquidated.
Provinces where foreigners have already procured land include: Muğla, Nevşehir, Istanbul, Çanakkale, Bursa, Burdur, Bolu, Bilecik, Ankara, Antalya, Aydın, Sakarya, Trabzon, Yalova and Yozgat.
Gulf countries, led by Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, are increasing their investments in agriculture and livestock in Turkey, as they aim to meet their homeland's food needs with the agricultural lands here.
According to the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT), foreigners made investments totaling $26 million in 2016.
Support for seeds increases 10 foldMinister Çelik also informed that the government has decided to lift the 18 percent value-added tax (VAT) on fertilizer and the 8 percent VAT on feedstuff in order to lessen the external dependence on agricultural imports, such as fertilizers, seeds, medicines and feedstuff. He noted that the support given to a variety of studies in seed growing has increased almost 10 fold.
"Funds for research and development [R&D] works have increased from TL 300,000 [$84,447] to TL 3 million on a project basis. It is extremely important that we open all of our institutes to the private sector," Arslan said.
"The ministry will provide support worth TL 630 million to the private sector's R&D investments. We have mobilized all the facilities with the necessary infrastructure in order to increase the total amount of R&D investments in agriculture to TL 1.5 million," he explained.