26 April 2022, Ankara – A virtual inception meeting was held on 11 April 2022 to announce the Letter of Agreement (LoA) signed between FAO and the General Directorate of Agricultural Research and Policies (TAGEM). In addition to high-level officers from FAO and TAGEM, representatives, researchers and experts from Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkiye, Uzbekistan and the Republic of Moldova attended the event. The LoA supports knowledge exchange, networking and capacity development in the area of agricultural research under the FAO-Turkiye Partnership Programme on Food and Agriculture (FTPP II).
The meeting kicked off with an opening speech by Nevzat Birişik, Director-General of TAGEM. Birişik explained that the fundamental aim of the LoA is to create a sustainable network for the beneficiary countries by setting up working groups on agricultural scientific research. Birişik also detailed the themes to be covered by the LoA: plant breeding, plant protection and agriculture 4.0.
Viorel Gutu, FAO Subregional Coordinator for Central Asia and Representative in Turkiye, emphasized that the LoA will bring a new dynamism to the FTPP by strengthening regional collaboration in the areas of agricultural research, development and innovation, and by bringing together related institutions from the targeted countries.
Dmitri Croitor, Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova to Turkiye, noted that the Republic of Moldova has extensive experience in the area of agricultural scientific research, and expressed his belief that the LoA will bring the beneficiary countries closer together by facilitating the exchange of experiences.
After the conclusion of the opening speeches, a representative from each country shared their perspective on the LoA. Fazıl Düşünceli, Agriculture Officer from FAO, then presented the background, objectives and main framework of the LoA. During the final part of the meeting, Fatma Sarsu, Coordinator of International Relations of TAGEM, explained the specific activities and workplan of the LoA, and presented TAGEM’s overall structure and mission.