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Merih Celasun Memorial Day Events End with a Panel on Agricultural Productivity and Growth During a panel carried out at TEPAV, key findings of the Celasun Award winner study were presented by Dr. Murat Üngör.
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22/06/2012 - Viewed 1698 times

ANKARA – The Second Merih Celasun Memorial Day events carried out by TEPAV ended with a panel themed “Growth and Agricultural Productivity: A Cross-country Comparison.” During the panel, the study that won the Merih Celasun 2011 Award titled “Agricultural Productivity and Growth in Turkey” was presented and growth via agricultural productivity was questioned in the light of the study’s key findings.

Sak: “Similar studies must be carried out for other sectors”

Delivering a speech during the opening of the meeting, TEPAV Director Prof. Dr. Güven Sak stated that the award winning study was of key importance and that similar analyses must be carried out for all sectors. Stressing that despite its importance, the agricultural sector, which is the source of informality, was a neglected issue in Turkey. He also put emphasis on the sector’s economic significance in reference to the food industry.

After the opening speech, the study that won the Award, titled "Agricultural Productivity and Growth in Turkey," by Prof. Ayşe İmrohoroğlu and Prof. Selahattin İmrohoroğlu of South Califonia University and Dr. Murat Üngör of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, was presented. Key findings of the study were introduced by Dr. Murat Üngör, one of the authors.

“The Spanish experience could have boosted Turkey”

During his presentation, Üngör stated that low agricultural productivity in Turkey explained the high income gap between Spain, Portugal, Greece and Turkey, all of which were peer economies in the 1960s and 1970s. He stressed that if Turkey had inherited Spain’s agricultural productivity growth starting in 1968, per capita income could have been much higher.

Following the presentation, a panel discussion was carried out with the moderation of Prof. Dr. Serdar Sayan, TEPAV Stability Institute Director. Participants in the panel session were Prof. Dr. Erol Çakmak, Dean of the TED University Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences; Prof. Dr. Mahir Fisunoğlu of the Çukurova University Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences; and Ozan Acar, TEPAV Economic Policy Analyst.

“Agriculture will remain a domain of conflict”

Touching upon possible developments that have the potential to hinder productivity in the agricultural sector, such as possible agricultural input and food products deficits depending on the pace of growth of China and India, Prof. Dr. Fisunoğlu stated that there would be a conflict between the pressing need for protection in the agricultural sector and the demands for the abolition of protective measures.

Focusing his speech on the award-winning study, Prof. Dr. Çakmak said that he disagreed on the emphasis solely on labor productivity and maintained that differences existed between Turkey and Spain also in terms of rural labor force.

Briefing the audience on TEPAV’s studies on the field of agriculture, Ozan Acar made a comparative presentation on the productivity of Turkey and South Korea, which were peer economies in the 1960s.

The panel ended after a question and answer session.

Please click here for the award-winning study published by TEPAV.

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