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Turkish municipalities to start selling produce to curb high inflation: minister

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Municipalities in metropolitan cities will start selling fruits and vegetables to curb rising inflation in food prices, Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak announced on Thursday, according to the Dünya daily.

Speaking at a Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TİM) meeting, Albayrak said Turkey had started to take short, middle and long-term steps to fight inflation.

“Our municipalities will sell fruits and vegetables direct from the source to our citizens,” he said.

Turkey’s Ministry of Customs and Trade issued a statement on Wednesday saying they have increased audits to detect and investigate higher than normal produce prices after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan put the blame for hikes in prices on supermarkets.

“Tomorrow Ziraat Bank will unveil a plan to promote greenhouse cultivation for greater capacity and efficiency,” Albayrak added.

A few months ago, authorities in Turkey raided warehouses to determine if wholesalers were stockpiling onions, leading to unusual hikes in the price of onions. Producers and wholesalers had said it was natural to stockpile onions after harvest until they are delivered to market.

Turkey’s annual inflation is over 20 percent.

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