Turkish farmer. (Photo: Flickr / Peter Langeley)
Turkey new favorite for foreign agricultural investments
by Hazal Ates
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.