Syrian refugees plug labour shortages on Turkish farms
By Nick Davies Jones
Turkish farmers say production has increased after Syrian refugees from the Elbeyli camp began working in their fields. Rural Turkey is witnessing manpower shortages due to local youth turning away from living off the land and migrating to cities. The worry is where the farms will end up should the Syrian refugees return home after the war ends in their country.
Syrian refugees are helping bridge labour shortages in the agricultural fields of southeastern Turkey.
Turkish farmers are employing Syrian refugees working in their lands following agreements between the local farming community and refugees of Elbeyli camp to provide a labour force.
"I am working on this field for three years now and I really like the owners they are morally intact, loyal and nice people," Abd al Hay, a Syrian refugee said.
"Everything is fine here. I and my family are happy here. People are good but this is not my home country."
The trend has increased agricultural production at a time when local youth are leaving rural Turkey for cities.
"Lately we have seen benefits of Syrians living here. We have increased the fields from 5,000 square metres to 50, 60 maybe even 100,000 square metres," said Cuma Yildiz, a local farm owner.
However, it's not clear where the farms will end up should the Syrian refugees return home after the war ends in their country.