Within the scope of the protocol signed between TAGEM (General Directorate of Agricultural Researches and Policies) and TSÜAB (Sub-Union of Seed Industrialists and Producers), the launch of the project named, “Let no farmer left behind reaching local and national seeds” held in Kayseri province.
Speaking at the opening of the programme, TSÜAB Chairman of the Board of Directors Dr. Ahmet Yılmaz emphasized the importance of production in the pandemic process.
Dr. Yılmaz said, “Even idle lands need to be cultivated. The idea that we will import if we cannot produce is completely wrong. Our answer to those in this opinion is to produce only.”
Stating that the foundation was laid in domestic seed studies at the Research Stations established in the first years of the Republic, Dr. Yılmaz continued his words as follows:
“With the leading up of the private sector in the 1980s, we see the point that our sector has reached today. In the last 10 years, we increased our seed production from 290 thousand tons to 1 million 143 thousand tons. The ratio of our exports to our imports reached 88 percent and we have become the 11th seed producing country in the world. Our targets for 2023 are to increase these figures even more.”
Pointing out that the discourses of some popular people related to seed sector bring damage to the sector and also the country, Dr. Yılmaz noted,
“We shouldn’t respect these false sayings. These discourses made by people who have academic titles but are not experts in the subject to get more ratings are wrong. Hybrid varieties are not sterile. It is not harmful to health. Moreover, we are obliged to use hybrid varieties in order to make up of our food deficit and increase the productivity and income of our farmers. Our farmer knows this and uses hybrid varieties.”
During his opening speech, TAGEM General Director Özkan Kayacan underlined that more than 40 local and national varieties belonging to the public and private sectors have been tried in Kayseri.
Kayacan added, “Perhaps there will be hundreds of varieties next year. 48 research institutes are working on breeding presently. 72 varieties were improved only in 2020. We sent seeds to 41 provinces, some of them were tried in TAGEM and some in TSÜAB members. We will do more together.”
“It is not an easy task to develop varieties, it takes 7-10 years. I call out to Turkish farmers, we are in the same quality with the seeds coming from abroad in most seeds. So let’s adopt our local and national seeds,” Kayacan concluded…