Turkey faces food shortages due to inadequate coronavirus measures, main opposition says

Turkey’s main opposition party has said Turkey risks severe food shortages within three months due to the coronavirus outbreak unless the government does not immediately put in place sufficient support for the agriculture sector, Cumhuriyet reported on Sunday.

"If the seedbeds are not distributed, the farmers cannot go to fields due to the pandemic, and the seasonal workers cannot work, we can see empty shelves in three months. The result of this is famine," Cumhuriyet quoted Orhan Sarıbal, vice president of the Republican People's Party, as saying.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on March 19 announced a 100 billion lira ($15.4 billion) aid package which is looking to curb the effects of the virus a day after Turkey announced its first death.

The package includes measures for the postponement of tax duties, loans and social insurance payments, as well as several incentives for Turkish businesses and citizens.

But Sarıbal said the government has taken very limited measures to safeguard food production.

"In June and July, we may encounter a lack of production, and a food and agriculture crisis as a result of this," he said.