BY TALIP AKTAS
Although the agricultural gross domestic product (GDP) declined by half to 5%, Turkey is the 10th largest economy in the world in terms of agricultural production as of 2020. Turkey’s ranking is even higher as compared to the population. However, Turkey is among the top five countries with the highest food inflation in the world. The Food Price Index, measured by the World Bank (WB) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN) paints a dramatic picture. The Turkish Statistical Institute’s (TurkStat) food price index, which was in line with the FAO and WB’s food price indices, has started to differentiate as of 2013 in parallel with the rapid foreign exchange (FX) rate hike. The graph indicating food prices was prepared by accepting January 2003 as 100. The FAO, WB, and TurkStat’s indices ended 2012 at 219, 208, and 229, respectively. The difference in these indices, which started to significantly increase after 2013, reached a record high level after 2021. While food prices rose by around 12% around the world, the price hike announced by TurkStat reached 511%. Besides Turkey, the common thread through countries have been hit by food inflation most is deep economic recession and political instability.
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