Turkey Announces Plan to Advance Sustainable Agriculture

The new plan aims to promote organic farming, technological innovation, recycling and renewable energies just weeks after the E.U. made a similar commitment.

An ancient olive tree in the Sigacik / Seferihisar district in Izmir Province, Turkey
Aug. 2, 2021
By Paolo DeAndreis
An ancient olive tree in the Sigacik / Seferihisar district in Izmir Province, Turkey

A greener approach to agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion is at the heart of a new sus­tain­able devel­op­ment plan announced by the Turkish gov­ern­ment.

The world’s largest organic olive oil exporter plans to sig­nif­i­cantly renew the country’s agri­cul­ture, indus­try and trans­port sec­tors to reduce their impact on the envi­ron­ment while ensur­ing their com­pet­i­tive­ness in a quickly chang­ing inter­na­tional sce­nario.

The Green Reconciliation Action Plan is a roadmap com­pat­i­ble with the trans­for­ma­tional poli­cies that are tak­ing place through­out the world economies, espe­cially in the E.U.- Mehmet Muş, Turkish Trade Minister

The new strat­egy includes dozens of actions such as pro­mot­ing organic farm­ing, tech­no­log­i­cal inno­va­tion, recy­cling and the imple­men­ta­tion of renew­able energy sources.

The new Green Reconciliation Action Plan announced by Ankara focuses on sus­tain­abil­ity. It has been pre­sented in response to the Fit-for-55 plan, which the European Commission recently intro­duced, and the European Green Deal.

See Also: Just when Olive Oil Tourism Was Trending in Turkey, the Pandemic Hit

While the coun­try is not an E.U. mem­ber, Brussels esti­mates that more than 42 per­cent of all Turkish exports go to E.U. coun­tries, which will soon be bound by stricter rules about the ori­gin of their imports.

Turkey’s Ministry of Trade esti­mated that in 2020 the total value of Turkish exports to the European Union exceeded €120 bil­lion.

To stay com­pet­i­tive, it is essen­tial to cre­ate an effi­cient and highly pro­duc­tive agri­cul­tural sec­tor that is envi­ron­men­tally and socially sus­tain­able,” the Turkish gov­ern­ment said in its new plan.

According to the min­istry, Turkey will be among the coun­tries most affected by cli­mate change, in part, due to its geo­graph­i­cal loca­tion.

See Also: The Best Olive Oils from Turkey

Therefore, it is impor­tant for our coun­try to take actions toward sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture” and stud­ies will be car­ried out to reduce the use of pes­ti­cides, anti-micro­bials and chem­i­cal fer­til­iz­ers in our coun­try.”

The plan also details the need to make organic farm­ing and bio-tech­ni­cal meth­ods more pop­u­lar among farm­ers since the demand for organic prod­ucts is grow­ing, and this cre­ates oppor­tu­ni­ties for the devel­op­ment of sus­tain­able and envi­ron­men­tally friendly organic farm­ing pro­duc­tion.”

According to the plan, new land con­sol­i­da­tion reg­is­tra­tion activ­i­ties will also be car­ried out to develop farms and invest­ments fur­ther.

The plan also aims at cre­at­ing the con­di­tions for the re-use of waste and residues derived from farm­ing activ­i­ties while also rais­ing con­sumer aware­ness about the prod­uct cycles.

While agri­cul­ture plays a piv­otal role in the Turkish econ­omy, sig­nif­i­cant efforts laid out in the plan will be ded­i­cated to the renewal of indus­trial areas, includ­ing new green dis­tricts for inno­va­tion and sus­tain­abil­ity, focus­ing on renew­able energy strate­gies, specif­i­cally geot­her­mal energy.

A task force focused on max­i­miz­ing the effort will bring together researchers from pub­lic and pri­vate enti­ties – uni­ver­si­ties, man­u­fac­tur­ers and tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies, among oth­ers.

A spe­cific national data­base will gather data on raw mate­ri­als, processes and emis­sions. Those data will help define the scope and the areas of inter­ven­tion while also devis­ing an envi­ron­men­tal label­ing sys­tem.

The Green Reconciliation Action Plan is a roadmap com­pat­i­ble with the trans­for­ma­tional poli­cies that are tak­ing place through­out the world economies, espe­cially in the E.U.,” said Mehmet Muş, Turkey’s trade min­is­ter. It encour­ages green invest­ments, con­tributes to the trans­for­ma­tion of global value chains and thus sup­ports value-added pro­duc­tion.”





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