An Inclusive Treadmill? Expansion of Industrial Maize Farming and Simple-Commodity Producers in Turkey

Yetkin Borlu, Stephen A. Matthews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The growth of industrial maize farming in Turkey during the first decade of this century points to the primacy of economic development over ecological concerns at a time when global nitrogen and phosphorus flows already exceeded safe limits. In this article we focus on the relations of production as the driver of an economic sector that not only has ecological but also social costs. Through a trend analysis of maize yields as our ecological indicator, we explain how relations of production influence industrial maize farming in this period and how different modes of production (e.g., simple-commodity producers) participate in a corporate market. A “treadmill of production” perspective argues that simple commodity producers are excluded from industrial treadmills. Our findings indicate that provinces with predominantly simple commodity production experienced significant increases in maize yields and adapted to the industrial maize treadmill. However, there is a significant difference between simple-commodity producers and large farms that widens over the decade. Our results suggest that simple-commodity producers are included in ecologically harmful economic practices with significant obstacles. We call for a revision of the assumed relationship between the size of economic operations and their ecological impacts in the critical sociology literature and policy approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)569-590
Number of pages22
JournalRural Sociology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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