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NİHAT ÇELİK: SHEEP AND GOATS ARE FRIENDS OF FORESTS

Nihat Çelik, Chairperson of the Turkey Sheep and Goat Breeders’ Association (TÜDKİYEB), stated that they want the forest areas to be opened to sheep pasture and said, “Sheep and goats are friends and cleaners of forests. They eat all the weeds, clean the forest and protect it from fire and disaster.”

Çelik, who attended the Sakarya Sheep and Goat Breeders’ Association Ordinary General Assembly Meeting, held in the Hall of the Provincial Directorate of Agriculture, said that there are approximately 90 thousand sheep and goats in Sakarya province and this number should be increased at least three times by setting a target.

Stating that they want feed support to be given to all registered animals, Çelik explained, “We request this from our esteemed Minister on behalf of you. We respect their discretion. We want the budget of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to be the strongest budget. We have a growing population. Feeding this increasing population can only be achieved through agricultural production, development and growth.”

Pointing out that Turkey’s geography is suitable for production, Çelik addressed the ovine breeders as follows: “You are in every field of agriculture. We want our forest areas to be opened to pasture. Sheep and goats are friends and cleaners of the forest. They eat all weeds, clean the forest and protect it from fire and disaster. Hopefully, forest areas will be opened for sheep and goat grazing. Thus, you will both become stronger and we will not face a feed shortage. We want the support from the state and production from you.”

“We also demand the VAT (Value Added Tax) of the electricity used by the farmer and the breeder to be reduced to 1 percent, we want fund fees not to be charged. On the other hand the premiums of agricultural insurance are very high. Compulsory insurance should be made optional. We want premiums to be determined in reasonable numbers that the breeder and farmer could pay. Essentially sheep herding is a sacred profession. We want you to grow your herd,” Çelik added…

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