The Journey of Globalization with Agriculture

sustainable agriculture

What is Agriculture?

For most of us, agriculture is the production of plant and animal products. With the industrial revolution The modernization that started, closed the subsistence agriculture period and brought agriculture into the industrialization process, and agriculture now covers the stages from the sowing of the seed to the last producer.

Accordingly, agriculture; It covers the maintenance, feeding, breeding, protection and marketing activities of all kinds of agricultural-animal products that can be human food and have economic value. Most of the known agricultural activities are carried out in villages.

The Transformation of Peasants in Agriculture

The large-scale change process brought about by the industrial revolution can be seen as the leading stages of globalization. The 1930s were the years of depression in the world. The development/increase of world trade and food production, in other words, by capitalist countries in order to meet the needs. IMF and World Bank Established.

II. After World War II in 1947General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade” (GATT) is signed; It is a multilateral agreement that sets rules on world trade. By progressing to cover all agricultural products, to the World Trade Organization (WTO) leaves.

II. From the Second World War to the 1980s, there was a closed division of labor in the world. This division of labor can be described as follows; Underdeveloped countries produce agricultural products, provide raw materials to the industry, the industrial sector processes the products, and the products are sold to the people of developed and underdeveloped countries by the traders.

From the 1980s, Transnational companies start to spread all over the world, the world quickly becomes an open market where all products are sold to all countries. Accordingly, changes in the division of labor begin. With the development of the domestic market, subsistence peasants transform into industrial production. In international companies, they start the race to dominate all the rings of the chain, from production to marketing.

Agriculture and food have become the new form of domination. For this purpose, transnational companies, which are active on the governments of developed and underdeveloped countries, change the flow of the money allocated from the budget under the name of supporting agriculture and agriculturists. The direction of the money allocated from the budget under the name of support is turned from farmers to transnational companies that produce the production input of developed countries and market their raw and agricultural products. Agriculture begins to be incorporated.

Seeds are placed in the package, fertilizer in the sack and medicine in the box by the companies. While the farmers who have money continue their work by taking the production inputs, the farmers who have no money either quit their jobs or outsource them with the contracted production model.

Especially in this period Mexico, Turkey, Argentina, Chile and Brazil The disappearance of state support purchases in countries such as agriculture that have reached a certain domestic and foreign market capacity has revealed policies that determine modernization for agricultural inputs, production for the global market, free trade and the elimination of the peasantry. These reforms have led to an increase in agricultural production, but have led to serious differences in income distribution in the agricultural sector (Koç, 2013:26).

Industrial Production Effect in Agriculture

As a result of global effects such as population growth, rapid production need and access to markets all over the world, agriculture had to industrialize in order to increase food. With the increase of mechanization and the use of chemical (artificial) fertilizers in agriculture, pesticides such as herbicides and insecticides for insects that appear as a result of chemical fertilization begin to be used in the soil.

It seems that high efficiency is achieved with all these production inputs. Agricultural production has increased, but The use of soil and water increased, the ecological balance began to deteriorate and to global warming has been caused.

Economic activities that put pressure on the world's resources, increasing human needs, and lifestyles that are incompatible with the environmental renewal process lead to awareness of environmental problems. Considering the CO2000 greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture in 2019-2 in Turkey, the increase in agriculture and industrial production greenhouse gas emissions can be seen (Table 1). Similarly, when the cultivated land area is examined (Table 2), it is seen that it decreases regularly.

greenhouse gas emissions

land use in agriculture

Sustainability in Agriculture

In this case, the food sustainable production, briefly sustainable agriculture has gained importance. Sustainability It is now a core theme of existing society and forms the cornerstone of the Sustainable Development Goals, which were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 and are valid until 2030, ensuring a common program of peace and prosperity. Sustainable Development Goalshas been a call for urgent action by all countries in a global partnership because it is necessary to end poverty and other deprivations; It has been recognized that they must go hand in hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequalities, and promote economic growth. The aim of sustainable developmentTo improve the quality of life of people without exploiting natural resources beyond the capacities provided by the environment, climate change and trying to protect the oceans and forests.

food securityfood safety and agriculture, which is the source of food, should not be left to the conditions of the global market economy, family farming and sustainable peasant agriculture should be supported to the hegemony of transnational companies.

Read: What is Food Security?

In order to secure the right to have adequate and healthy food, a global struggle against transnational agriculture and food companies is mandatory.. (Aysu 2008:10)


  • Aysu, A. (2008) Globalization and agriculture. Istanbul: Su Publishing House
  • Koç, M. (2013) As the Global Food Order Crisis Deepens. Ankara: NotaBene Publications

About the Author

Didem Samurkas

I am a Computer Engineer, I am married, I first completed my master's degree in Sociology in order to find answers to my questions why we live social life like this, how our relations with each other are formed, and now I am continuing my Sociology doctoral program. I am doing my thesis on food and agriculture.

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