Çiftçi-Sen in solidarity with farmers affected by the earthquake in southern Türkiye

Farmers’ Union (ÇİFTÇİ-SEN) distributed animal feed between March 11 and March 16, 2023 in Antakya, Defne and Samandağ villages to show solidarity with the small farmers who suffered earthquake damage and had difficulty in finding feed for their animals and to prevent them from having to sell their animals because they could not feed them.

As it is known, many villages have merged with urban centers as a result of the expansion of settlements into agricultural lands, and Hatay is one of them. As a result of the Metropolitan Law, villages became neighborhoods of the metropolitan municipalities overnight; village legal entities were put-away. Assets of the villages were handed to municipalities or some institutions of the central administration, pastures and grazing lands were destroyed, opened to urban and industrial projects and privatised, and small-scale animal breeders were prevented from accessing these areas. These animal breeders have been forced to outsource all the inputs that their animals need. The earthquake increased feed prices, has left animal breeders, who have difficulty in meeting the nutritional and shelter needs of their own families, in an even more difficult situation, and have made them sell their animals to opportunists at the price of nothing. In order to stay in solidarity with peasants and to prevent them from having to sell their livestock, ÇİFTÇİ-SEN traveled to the earthquake zone to distributed feed  in order to help them not to sell their livestock.

Monetary support announced to be distributed by the State does not even cover one day’s feed for animals and  does not constitute support. On top of it, it is not clear to whom it is going to be given.

Urgent demands:

  • Grasslands, grazing lands  and pastures should urgently be returned to village legal entities,
  • Small-scale livestock breeders should be allowed to benefit from these grasslands and pastures.
  • The state should urgently pay in-kind feed subsidies to these villagers.

As ÇİFTÇİ-SEN, we will continue to fight for the demands of small farmers as we have done until today.