With its food inflation already above 17%, crisis-hit Turkey is bracing for further increases in food prices amid looming declines in key crops due to drought, coming atop already serious problems in the agricultural sector and the country’s unremitting currency woes.

A fifth of the average household budget in Turkey goes to food, with the rate reaching up to 30% in low-income groups, according to official data. And with the country’s income distribution notoriously unfair, millions of people in low- and middle-income groups are highly vulnerable to food prices and food insecurity.

Inflation data, released by the Turkish Statistical Institute last week, show that food prices were up 17.49% year-on-year in May, compared to an overall consumer inflation of 16.59% in the same period. In some key categories such as cereals and processed food, including bread, the price increases were even higher, hovering at nearly 20%.

Moreover, the institute has made some alarming forecasts for the agricultural sector this year due to drought. Average precipitation levels have fallen 25% below normal seasonal amounts, highlighting the ever-growing impact of global warming.

Written by Mustafa Sönmez