Ziya Kaya

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Arizona, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10227

Approve Date

October 7, 2021

Project Title

Kaya, Ziya (Arizona, U. of) "“Who Is Going to Feed All These People?” From Food Security to the Securitization of Food Production in Turkey"

Agriculture in Turkey is in the midst of its most profound transformation in the history of the Republic founded in 1923. For producers, this has meant pressure toward greater efficiency by integrating digital farming technologies that provide them with algorithm-generated recommendations to predict and manage their farming (soil, plants, inputs, timing), finances (budgeting, credit) and insurance since the 2010s. However, in recent years the country has also experienced shocking and controversial shortages and price increases on basic foods; the ‘onion crisis’ of 2017-2018 saw the price increase by 184%, leading the government to target farmers as ‘terrorists’ and ‘threats’ to national security due to their alleged hoarding and market manipulation, subjecting them to raids, bans, and checkpoints. This research examines how digital farming technologies interact with the securitization of farmers and agriculture. I will conduct 18 months (6 months funded by Wenner-Gren) of ethnographic research with small farmers who are and are not farming digitally, experts, scientists, and public officials in a public-private collaboration and a private digital farming company in Western Turkey. This research will contribute to ethnographic work on the technopolitics of food systems, their financialization and securitization, and the impacts of these on farmers’ livelihoods.