With the “Local Seed Meetings” project, heirloom local seed varieties, which are in the hands of farmers, have been taken under protection in the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
Thanks to this project launched under the auspices of Emine Erdoğan, the wife of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, 1131 heirloom local seed varieties were collected.
The heirloom seeds collected through the “Local Seed Meetings” project, which started in 2017 under the auspices of Emine Erdoğan, are increasing day by day. The project, which started in İzmir, continued with various activities in Samsun and Şanlıurfa.
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Bekir Pakdemirli said that heirloom local seeds were both protected and reproduced so that unforgettable flavours reached the tables again.
In this process, Pakdemirli stated that 1131 heirloom local seed varieties, which are in the hands of people and farmers, were delivered to the Ministry and that half of these seeds were taken under protection in “Seed Gene Bank” and the rest were reproduced and registered by the institutions within the Ministry.
Pakdemirli also emphasized that 411 varieties including corn, pumpkin, kidney bean, pepper, tomato, cabbage, parsley and cress were planted by the General Directorate of Agricultural Enterprises (TİGEM) and 41 varieties of cereal seeds were cultivated by the Ankara Field Crops Research Institute.
“It will reach the tables in a short time.”
Pointing out that the seedlings obtained from the reproduced seeds are delivered to contracted producers in TİGEM affiliates and through Agricultural Credit Cooperatives (TTKKMB), Pakdemirli said:
“Among these products, there are many varieties, from the sharp pepper of Kandıra region to the village cucumber of Samsun, from the 10 slices melon of Çorum to the white dwarf tomato of Ankara-Ayaş region. Vegetables were delivered to markets and beans, kidney beans, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumber, melon and watermelon seedlings were planted in the enterprises of TİGEM. In addition, seedlings of watermelon and melon seedlings and other summer vegetables were delivered to farmers of Agricultural Credit Cooperatives for the purpose of crops. These products will reach our tables in a short time. Thus, we will regain the unforgettable tastes of the past.”
Pointing out that the transformation of these heirloom seedlings into a geographically indicated product will contribute to rural development and indirectly the development of rural tourism, Pakdemirli concluded, “These 42 varieties will be registered by TAGEM (General Directorate of Agricultural Research and Development) in 2020 for different plant species whose reproduction and identification processes have been completed.”