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NEPTÜN SOYER: IF AGRICULTURE STOPS, LIFE STOPS; WE NEED PRODUCTION MOBILIZATION

We are in the days when the local production, the value of the soil, the domestic seed and the need to fight for it are once again understood. The coronavirus reminded us of the importance of our food needs as well as healthcare and drug supply…

Neptün Soyer, who is one of the founders of Slow Food Teos, who has been operating in Seferihisar district of Izmir province for 11 years and is the Regional President of the Köy-Koop Izmir Regional Association, says, “If agriculture stops, life stops.”

Neptün Soyer, the wife of Izmir Metropolitan Mayor Tunç Soyer, urgently calls on the local production mobilization for the authorities.

Q – Even if we don’t go out on the streets, we see life in cities. The most important street activity for those who stay at home other than employees is to go to the market. You are with the farmer, the agricultural producer and the stallholders. How is life progressing in the Aegean? What are the main production activities in this spring time?

A – Life goes on where there is agriculture. This season is the time to collect leeks, broad beans, peas, okra, respectively. Potatoes are also dismantled on the one hand and replanted on the other. Agriculture is very important, but it is also important for people to reach it. I am a civil servant’s  child and my mother used to spend three kurush (a Turkish penny) every month. If the possibilities were limited, no one would care for luxury consumption.

Q – Who knows, maybe these unexpected difficult conditions also create some awareness. Did we understand how valuable food and especially local products were during this period?

A – If we stick to imports in agriculture, hard times would await us. Now we have to start domestic production without delay. This is very clear. Our Minister of Agriculture has good explanations, but says “We take your milk if necessary”. As the country’s 2050 target, we are not talking about whether a product can be sold or not… Is it possible that it is not necessary at the moment? Milk will remain in our hands. Because people have reduced their consumption. Everything will not be normalized suddenly when it starts to go out in a couple of months. There is a closed system of animal husbandry in this country… There is no pasture, I cannot graze. I have to buy straw, but I have no money. But now is the time for mobilization and unity in agriculture.

Q – Are we aware of the vital importance of national agricultural production? Do children growing up in the city know about how vegetables and fruits bought at the market produce?

A – Education is very important at this point. I’m actually a math teacher. We also want to call our Ministry of Education: Agriculture knowledge should be taught to children at preschool age. We need to know the importance of agriculture to us in some way. Yes, mathematics is important, but agricultural knowledge is also vital. Agriculture should not be a subject that can be learned later. We should tell the children how important agriculture is from a young age.

By Figen Yanık,

www.cumhuriyet.com.tr

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