Meeting highlights collaboration in the field of cooperatives…
23 February 2022, Ankara – A meeting was held yesterday with the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) to enhance collaboration in the field of cooperatives within the scope of a project entitled “Building the Resilience of Syrians under Temporary Protection and Host Communities in Turkiye through Supporting Socio-Economic Integration and Creating Livelihood Opportunities”. The project has established a growing number of cooperatives under the EU-financed project, which is implemented by FAO.
Tuesday, 22 February 2022 is unique in the solar calendar. To mark this special day – or “Twosday” – FAO and ICA created a special “Twosday Event” to promote their ongoing work and to draw attention to the importance of the cooperative system.
FAO Turkey Representative Viorel Gutu gave the keynote speech at the meeting, which gathered representatives of the Union of Cooperatives of Turkey, the International Association of Agricultural Cooperatives and many leading cooperative associations in Turkiye.
During his speech, Gutu explained that “FAO-Turkiye’s Cooperative Support Programme is based on the principles and values of the International Cooperative Alliance. The programme, which we started with three cooperatives in 2019 and expanded within a short timeframe, has now created 22 cooperatives in 13 provinces, with the support of the European Union and the Japanese Government. The programme’s achievements are truly impressive. When we look at the cooperatives, we see that their marketing capacities, profit rates and, most importantly, their social relations have all expanded. Over time, I expect to see even better results at the national level.”
In his speech, ICA President Ariel Guarco underlined the importance of international cooperation and inter-agency dialogue. “The FAO and ICA must adapt to cultural, economic and social changes in order to ensure food security”, he stated adding that,“all civil agencies must actively participate in the transformation necessary for sustainable development to take place.”
Finally, speaking on behalf of the 13 cooperatives supported by FAO, Cennet Polat, President of the Kahramanmaraş Mutlu Besin Agricultural Development Cooperative, expressed her pride at being a member of one of the cooperatives supported by the project. “I’m so happy to be here on behalf of all my sisters, who have come together under the umbrella of “Hep Yerinden” to show what women can achieve when given the opportunity. Such projects provide vital support to women living in rural areas and help them take an active and important role in business life. I would like to thank the European Union, FAO and our ministries for illuminating the way forward.”
The project is carried out in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security within the scope of the Syrian Refugee Resilience Plan.