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LAND BANKING AND CONSOLIDATION PROJECT IN TURKIYE…

Press release…

05/06/2023

Ankara – Abandonment or un-utilization of agricultural land is a common problem in many countries. Land abandonment undermines food security, results in lost economic opportunities, and can have a range of other negative socio-economic and environmental impacts.

In order to mitigate and overcome the negative consequences of land abandonment, a project entitled “Enhancing agricultural land market development to address land abandonment and improve land consolidation procedures” was initiated in the first quarter of 2022 and is being implemented under the umbrella of the FAO-Türkiye Partnership Programme on Food and Agriculture (FTPP II). Within the scope of the project, a technical workshop was held in Ankara on 24 May 2023 with the participation of relevant experts from FAO, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change.

The technical workshop focused on an assessment conducted on the policy, legal and institutional frameworks related to land tenure, land market development, land banking and land consolidation in Türkiye, with a view to supporting the development of institutional capacity. In addition, the workshop analysed and discussed current land consolidation procedures and regulations in Türkiye.

At the opening session, Morten Hartvigsen, FAO Land Tenure Officer and Lead Technical Officer of the project, highlighted the important connection between land consolidation and food security: “Over the last couple of years, multiple crises have reinforced our understanding of the primary importance of food security. Bringing abandoned agricultural land back into production can strengthen local food production; meanwhile, land consolidation increases the productivity and competitiveness of farms, contributing to enhanced food security.”

Sinan Demirbaş, Head of Department of Land Consolidation and Infrastructure Development Services of the General Directorate for State Hydraulic Works, explained that the basic aims of the project are to prevent the loss of agricultural land and increase agricultural productivity, by integrating small parcels of land through land consolidation projects.

Morten Hartvigsen

Mustafa Aslan, Head of Cadastre Department of the General Directorate of Land Registry and Cadastre, also underlined the importance of the project’s contribution to food security.

İsmail Cozoğlu, Deputy Director-General of the General Directorate of Agricultural Reform, emphasized the increasing importance of agricultural land at both the national and global level, sharing his belief that the project will produce concrete and feasible outcomes that will strengthen local food production.

Following these opening remarks, Aylin Çelik, Project Coordinator and Senior Land Management Advisor, provided a general overview of project activities and touched on activities carried out so far.

Aylin Çelik

The workshop continued with a variety of presentations on land market development, land banking and land consolidation procedures by FAO experts. Morten Hartvigsen shed light on good practices based on previous FAO  land banking projects combined with land consolidation. Tomas Versinkas provided details from a recent assessment report on policy, legal and institutional frameworks related to land tenure, land market development, land banking and land consolidation in Türkiye. Kristina Mitic Arsova guided a discussion on addressing land abandonment and introducing land consolidation, offering lessons from practices in North Macedonia. The last presentation was given by Erik Blaabjerg and Kristina Mitic Arsova who presented a recent analysis of current land consolidation procedures and regulations in Türkiye.

Morten Hartvigsen and Aylin Çelik closed the workshop with a final session dedicated to a discussion of next steps in project implementation.

About İsmail Uğural

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