Municipal direct sale points across Turkey have sold some 30,000 tons of goods, including 15,000 tons of fresh fruits and vegetables and 15,000 tons of grains and legumes, since their launch last month.
Local municipalities in Istanbul and Ankara launched the direct sale points on the 11th of February to counter soaring consumer foodstuff prices, offering agricultural products to average consumers at an affordable price. This practice was later adopted in other provinces as well.
The direct sale points were established as part of the Treasury and Finance Ministry's 'all-out battle against inflation' campaign, with the support of the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry. Initially, they offered eight types of vegetables and as of Feb. 26, they started offering grains and legumes, including rice, chickpeas and lentils.
The Turkish economy has been tackling high inflation for the last year. Consumer prices peaked in October and hit 25.24 percent. In February, inflation fell below the 20 percent threshold for the first time since September. Sustainable tight monetary policy, fiscal discipline and other measures such as direct sale points have made a major contribution to the improvement in the inflation rate.
The sale points, launched to circumvent middlemen and profiteers, have seen widespread demand from citizens. With the start of vegetable sales at municipal direct sale points, prices in wholesale vegetable markets and supermarket chains dropped by half.