Mithat DİREK - tdn
Agriculture policies fail to conserve
Agricultural policies in our country are not designed to protect natural resources and that results in agricultural production eroding and, in time, destroying such resources.
Yet an environment-friendly, environment-integrated agricultural production would result in the development of natural resources and, in turn, enhance production itself.
With regard to water consumption, we see that plants such as clover, corn, sunflower and sugar beet consume water excessively. In a closed basin which has limited water resources such as Konya, the use of irrigation water has been extremely wrong. Furthermore, supporting the production of corn and clover without designing policies fit for the region results in the diminishment of underground water resources. Less than two or three decades ago, we were able to easily reach underground water resources, but now that is harder to do. Add to that the blind use of such resources and you will see that the running out of water of the Konya plain is only natural.
The Konya Plain provides 10 percent of the total arable land in Turkey. The plain has an arid climate and in most of the area annual rain stands at around 300 millimeters, and only 30 to 35 percent of that rain falls during the time of production. Thus, production is nearly impossible without using irrigation water on the plain. But the plain's water resources very limited, both under and above ground. So, this water should be used effectively in irrigation, drinking and consumption, both in industry and in agriculture.
To use water correctly in agriculture, some steps have to be taken. Here are the most crucial ones:
- The amount of water to be used annually in agriculture should be determined and only that amount should be used.
- Effective management of water is a must. To manage water, one has to have an irrigation program, leading to irrigation programs for each type of plant. And to do that, scientific studies on the relation between water and efficiency and the water consumption of various plants should be realized. Also, plans for irrigation times should be mapped out.
- Appropriate irrigation methods should be planned and their execution principles should be known. Such planning can only be done by experts.
- The reason for over-irrigation in agriculture is not any particular method of irrigation; the reason is bad planning and execution of the method.
- Scientific studies on whether inadequate irrigation might result in economic agriculture should be carried out.
- Plants that consume more water should be produced carefully and the irrigation balance in products should not be upset.
- Research on developing product types that are arduous under drought should be done.
- The production of plants should occur in a planned manner.