Tobacco farmers suffer from price hikes
Tobacco farmers, who are ready to sell the tobacco that they have already harvested, think how they can spend winter due to the high cost of life.
Amed- The farmers in Turkey have been suffering from the price hikes, particularly in gasoline, and high cost of life. They cannot make a profit from the crops they planted anymore due to the price hikes and think how to spend winter due to the high cost of life. The tobacco farmers, who worked hard in summer by growing and harvesting tobacco leaves, are not able to cover their expenses from what they earn. The tobacco farmers in the Kocaköy district of Diyarbakır, who are ready to sell the tobacco, told us that all their income goes to diesel.
Price hikes also affect tobacco farmers
People living in the district rent land to plant tobacco. They wake up early in the morning to work. After harvesting tobacco leaves in summer, they dry them. After harvesting the leaves, women string tobacco leaves at their home by hand to dry them. After the drying process, the people take them to the city center in order to sell them. Tobacco is the only source of income for many families in the district. The citizens say that they have no other job opportunity in the district and their tobacco business is about to end because of the economic crisis in the country.
“All our income goes to diesel”
Mensure Tanrıverdi is one of the tobacco farmers in the district. She has planted and sold tobacco along with her family for 20 years. They have not been able to obtain the desired yield in recent years due to the bans and price hikes, “The land owners do not rent out their lands due to the price hikes. Tobacco farming is very costly. For years, we have not been able to cover our expenses. This year, planting cost us so much because diesel is so expensive. We have been banned from harvesting tobacco leaves many times. We are not allowed to harvest and sell tobacco. We wake up early in the morning to work in the field; however, we do not receive a recompense for our work.”
“We worked hard this year but make no profit”
Stating that they will not be able to earn income this year due to high prices of fuel and fertilizer, Mensure Tanrıverdi said, “Next year, the landowners will not rent out their lands to tobacco farmers. They will plant wheat. They say wheat is more profitable. We pay 10,000 Turkish liras to rent 10 acres of land. We also pay for diesel and fertilizer. We earn nothing after paying for the rent, diesel and fertilizer. I think we will make no profit this year.”
“We do not have any job opportunities”
“Men, women and children work in fields to earn a living,” Mensure Tanrıverdi said, “Although we earn less, we make ends meet. Tobacco is the only source of income for many families. We do not have any job opportunities in the district.”