September 3, 2020 Ankara –
Turkey’s Deputy Representative of FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), Dr. Ayşegül Selışık and FAO Food Safety Expert Keigo Obara were the guests of ‘Gündem Tarım’ programme broadcasted on Channel 5 on August 31st.
While evaluating the latest developments in the field of agriculture within the context of the pandemic, Turkey and FAO relations were also put on the table by Dr. Selışık and Obara.
Stating that COVID-19 once again tells us about the importance of agriculture and access to food, Selışık emphasized that FAO struggles with hunger and rural poverty by producing knowledge and transferring experience between countries. Dr. Selışık, then, gave the information about the historical development of the first and second phase of Turkey-FAO Partnership Programme.
Pointing out the effects of the COVID-19 epidemic on the global food industry, Obara said that there is no interruption in the production and supply of basic food products such as wheat and the stability in the prices of these products.
Indicating that this is pleasing in terms of food security, Keigo noted, “However, the picture for aquaculture and dairy is not that positive. The reason for the increase in food prices in Turkey is the depreciation of the Turkish lira.”
Keigo underlined that the main question to be asked should not be related to production but to proper nutrition. Obara finally added, “The main reason that Turkey showed a successful performance in terms of food safety during the epidemic is the ability to produce staple goods and moving of basic food products without interruption throughout Turkey.”
Reminding that hunger is increasing in the world and this negative trend continues during the epidemic period, Selışık underlined that agricultural production should increase in order to prevent this.
Emphasizing that the factors that support the increase in agricultural production are the protection of natural resources, sustainability and organization, Selışık concluded, “As FAO, we attach great importance to small family farming. Besides within the scope of FAO’s activities in Turkey, providing technical training in the agricultural sector, we are implementing projects for Syrians in order to make them qualified agricultural workers. Finally, as FAO, we are carrying out projects to reduce food waste and losses together with Turkey in Central Asian countries, such as ‘Save Food’ project.”