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DR. SINDIR: FREEDOM OF CONTRACT AND PROPERTY RIGHTS OF FARMERS WILL BE VIOLATED!

Press release…

Professor Dr. Kamil Okyay Sındır, former deputy of Izmir, has commented on a draft regulation titled “Regulation on the Planning of Agricultural Production,” which was prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

Dr. Kamil Okyay Sındır

“UNPLANNED AGRICULTURAL MANAGEMENT”

According to Dr. Sındır, when this regulation is implemented, producers will be compelled to engage in contractual production, restricting their freedom to produce what they prefer or what may bring them higher income. He argues that the regulation violates the constitutional provisions of freedom of contract and right to property. Furthermore, Dr. Sındır highlights that the regulation will require various public legal entities, including municipalities, to obtain production permits from the Ministry, specifically the Provincial/District Directorates of Agriculture. This, in turn, may result in political discrimination and favouritism in the support of municipalities for agricultural production, especially during local elections.

The text also discusses the unplanned nature of agricultural management in Türkiye, particularly since the early 2000s. The closure of the State Planning Organisation has led to a lack of clarity regarding investments, resulting in an unplanned and unpredictable economy that poses significant risks and uncertainties. The introduction of Article 7 of the Agricultural Law No. 5488, which mandated planning in agriculture, is considered evidence of the absence of a coherent plan or programme for agricultural production.

“OBLIGATION FOR MUNICIPALITIES TO OBTAIN PERMISSION FROM THE MINISTRY”

The regulation imposes an obligation on municipalities and other public legal entities to comply with the provisions of the regulation in their projects and applications for crop and animal production. This means that these entities must obtain production permits from the Ministry, specifically the Provincial/District Directorates of Agriculture. The goal is to ensure supply assurance, increase productivity and develop agricultural production in line with the decisions of the Agricultural Production Planning Board. However, this approach is criticized because it restricts the decision-making power of producers and substitutes their preferences with planning decisions made at the provincial or district level.

In recent years, municipalities have been implementing projects and providing support for agricultural production to address sector-specific issues. Yet, the new regulation may require them to obtain production permits from the Ministry, potentially impacting their ability to independently address local agricultural problems. Dr. Sındır acknowledges the importance of production planning but argues that it should be done in a way that respects the autonomy of producers and encourages incentive and support policies aligned with their preferences and decisions.

“UNCONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE LAW ON AGRICULTURE AND THE RELATED REGULATION”

The given text discusses the constitutionality of Law No. 7442 in Türkiye, which is related to agriculture and the regulation of agricultural practices. Dr. Sındır indicates that several areas in which the law may infringe upon constitutional rights. For example, the law includes provisions that force producers to contract with private companies, which may violate the freedom of contract. It also usurps the right to property by allowing the state to confiscate and rent agricultural lands to whomever it chooses.

“IT IS NECESSARY NOT TO BREAK THE CONNECTION OF OUR PRODUCERS WITH THEIR LAND AND LIVESTOCK”

Dr. Sındır also argues that instead of addressing the underlying issues such as fragmentation and ownership conflicts, the Ministry of Agriculture is choosing to confiscate farmers’ lands and enter the real estate business. Dr. Sındır underlies the importance of solving these problems through land consolidation and legal arrangements, rather than resorting to confiscation; planning should be based on scientific methods and practices, rational economy and universal principles of law to avoid negative consequences. Ignoring these factors may lead to a decline in sustainability, polycultural production and food safety, as well as agricultural pollution and poverty.

“PRINCIPLES IN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION PLANNING”

In agricultural production planning, Dr. Sındır proposes a more supportive approach towards producers. They suggest increasing productivity, improving product quality, ensuring food safety, and stabilizing production to meet the basic food requirements of the people. Dr. Sındır also stresses the importance of sustainability, surging income levels for producers, considering geographical and climatic characteristics and gaining a competitive advantage in agricultural products on the global stage.

Overall, Dr. Sındır calls for an approach to agricultural production planning that is sustainable, dynamic and respects the rights and welfare of both producers and consumers; agricultural subsidies should be aligned with these objectives and consider the ecological and economic conditions of different regions and products. By taking these steps, Dr. Sındır believes that the agricultural sector in Türkiye can be strengthened and contribute to the overall well-being of society…

About İsmail Uğural

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