Turkey’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry announced additional measures Monday to ensure the safety and well-being of seasonal workers against the coronavirus as they migrate to the country’s agricultural regions for the harvest.
According to the statement released by the ministry, seasonal workers will be supplied with additional hygiene and personal protection products, and their safety will be ensured during their transportation to agricultural areas and accommodation at the farms. Farms, greenhouses and gardens will be inspected by officials at the direction of the ministry, the statement said.
The ministry added that seasonal farmers’ access to agricultural areas will continue during the outbreak to prevent any disruption in the nation's food supply.
To ensure farmers’ access to fertilizers, crops and agro-chemicals, officials will do stock controls and inspections at agricultural fertilizer distribution and sales points .
Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said last week that no problems in the production, stock or supply chain of basic food products are expected in the days and months to come during the coronavirus outbreak.
He said the Turkish Grain Board (TMO) will continue to sell cereals and pulses until the end of the wholesale season, along with staples like rice, chickpeas and lentils.
Along with providing for domestic markets, Turkish farmers also started increasing exports, especially to Europe, as many countries are experiencing a disruption in agricultural production due to the deadly pandemic.
According to the Turkey Exporters Assembly's (TİM) latest figures, Turkey’s fresh fruit and vegetable exports surged in the first quarter, with tomato exports growing by more than 12% from last year, reaching $119.8 million from $106.7 million. Exports of fresh peppers, on the other hand, surged by 13.5% in the same period from $42.1% million to $47.8 million, the data showed.