Keywords: sustainable development, agricultural reform, innovation, entrepreneurship, next generation, Turkey, Turkish agriculture, structural change, trade liberalisation, social policy, innovation policy, underemployment, EU Common Agricultural Policy, CAP, European Union, agricultural sustainability, rural development
Editorial: agriculture in Turkey – structural change, sustainability and EU-compatibility
Rural Turkey is dominated by a large agricultural sector that still relies on extensive state support and policy intervention. There is a general agreement that structural change is needed to make its rural economy more innovative and competitive. Yet, as long as the main architects of Turkish agricultural reform are primarily concerned with mitigating the impact of trade liberalisation through social policy rather than innovation policy, the Turkish countryside will remain an economic and political liability due to its rampant underemployment problem. Social policy is not in a position to create employment through new markets. In this context, Turkeys current efforts to make its agriculture more compatible with the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is unlikely to induce important policy changes because CAP's underlying concept of agricultural sustainability is still focused on preservation and safety rather than entrepreneurship and innovation. The papers in this guest-edition provide new ways of looking at sustainable agriculture in Turkey and propose a new domestic policy approach to rural development that is focused on facilitating change on the countryside through more investment in human capital and entrepreneurial infrastructure.