1st Istanbul International Geography Congress Proceedings Book
Methods used in the delimitation of agricultural regionsEsen Durmuş, Ali Yiğit
When talking about the regions, it is assumed that a whole is segmented into pieces. In fact, the exact opposite is the case. That is, the pieces are brought together according to their similarities in order to form a whole. Therefore, the criteria used to delimit the agricultural regions are the methods developed to achieve this wholeness. Even though the criteria used for the delimitation of agricultural regions vary, the regions have actually been considered as a whole while they have been handled in segmented parts. It is necessary to demonstrate how the elements that play a major role in this wholeness are grouped together. While the qualities of agricultural activities were specified in the earlier studies, classification was made for the differences of agricultural products in the later studies. Studies on the delimitation of agricultural regions can be examined in three groups: The first group of studies was carried out in order to determine the world agricultural regions. The initial studies in this field were directed by German Geographers Ratzel (1891) and Hahn (1892) aimed at classifying the world agricultural areas. Later, the most accepted classification in the World Agricultural Zones studies was made by Whittlesey (1936). The second group of studies on the delimitation of agricultural regions was on the continental scale. These were Thünen, Baker’s studies of agricultural areas on the North American scale. Olof Jonasson, a Swedish geographer, used the Thünen theory to delimit the regions in Europe. Hartshorne and Dicken also delimited the agricultural areas of North America and Europe by statistical means. Even though Whittlesey’s influence was observed in Cole’s work in identifying the agricultural areas in the former Soviet Union, its present value is based on the fact that it reveals the relationship between the agricultural products and the need for industry and food in this continent-sized area. In China, another continent-sized country, studies have begun to delimit the agricultural regions. In their study, which they called “An Initiative for the Study of Agricultural Types in China”, Gao Huancheng and Yao J.G. identified 12 agricultural types, hence the regions in the country. The third group related to agricultural regions was consisted of the country-wide studies. Erinç and Tunçdilek (1952) carried out studies aimed at delimiting the agricultural regions of Turkey. As a result, various studies have been conducted in the world, continent and country scale by using many different methods from past to present in delimiting agricultural regions. These studies have the capacity to shed light on the studies aimed at the areas where the agricultural products, which are the main factors in human nutrition, are best adapted and acquiring the highest efficiency per unit area with the planning to be made.