Mrs. Emine Erdoğan, the wife of H. E. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, along with Ahmet Eşref Fakıbaba, the Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, attended to “3rd Local Seed Meetings Şanlıurfa” event, held at GAPTAEM Talat Demirören Research Station.
Mrs. Emine Erdoğan; stating that soil and seed are inseparable parts of each other, spoke as; "Seed is commended to soil, both of them are our national wealth. How much we extend this awareness, how much we lay claim to protect our seeds; then, that much we guarantee the future of next generations.”
Mrs. Erdoğan; mentioning the pleasure of being in Şanlıurfa, the homeland of civilization, indicated that they aim to organize similar events in all regions.
Mrs. Emine Erdoğan, expressing that soil is waiting to meet seed with the effort of farmers, spoke as; “Soil and seed are inseparable parts of each other. Seed is commended to soil both of them are our national wealth. How much we extend this awareness, how much we lay claim to protect our seeds; then, that much we guarantee the future of next generations.”
"Turkey is exporting seeds to 79 countries"
Emphasizing that the seed issue is a strategic issue; Mrs. Erdoğan noted:
"The ability of a country to meet its need for seed on its own without being dependent on the outside, is the biggest investment for the future. Apart from this, clean seed is the first cycle of the healthy life. If the seed is good, healthy and clean, nutrition becomes healthy as well. Fortunately, significant progress has been recorded in seed production, yield, quality and exports in recent years. The certified seed production which was 145.000 tons in 2002 has increased 7 times and climbed to 1,050 million tons in 15 years. While our exports have gone up 8 times, our imports have decreased to the lowest rate of the last 5 years in 2017. We are currently exporting seeds to 79 countries. Hopefully, our 2023 target is to achieve production of 2 million tons and export of 500 million dollars. If we are well organized in the seed industry, we also have a say in the international seed sector. Turkey, drawing its national road map in all fields will hopefully achieve the objectives in this area."
Mrs. Emine Erdoğan implied that the objectives are not hard to achieve in case the unity among Turks, Kurds, Circassians and Laz is achieved and requested from farmers to work and produce more.
Mrs. Emine Erdoğan expressed that the preservation of these fertile soils and more production depends on the farmers and she made the following remarks:
"If the incentives given by our state converge with your efforts, these lands will rear up.
Our female farmers are given high esteem as they are all at home in the field and in the care of their children with a 'motherly affection'. Let’s open up your crates, take out the ancestral seeds that are about to be lost. We will be happy if we are able to meet ancestral seeds again with field which are transmitted from generation to generation, in this most ancient geography of the world. Ancestral seeds can adapt more easily to changing natural conditions and more suitable for the organic agriculture. It is the taste of our vegetable and fruits. It is also the secret treasure of the tastes we have already forgotten. In this geography which is located on trade routes of the past, there are such kinds of nice plants that we do not know yet. We must register the mentioned varieties, broaden our inventory, increase our agricultural diversity and seek new markets for them. There are possibly so many plants in these lands which could be therapeutic and a cure for humanity. We should make them economically valuable.”
"We should turn the homeland into a fertile place of peace"
Pointing out that the European countries already discovered this and strengthened their herbal medicine industry with the raw materials they have obtained, Emine Erdoğan noted:
“As the great powers have their eyes on us; we should be united in all fields and turn this homeland into a fertile place of peace. Fortunately, you are trying hard to make the land fertile and our state is working round the clock. The state tries to bring what is available in the west to the east and the southeast of the country as well. With their contemporary airports, hospitals and schools, our eastern provinces no longer fall behind the western provinces. Our young people are able to study at the universities in the city they live in. Education opportunities are now even more abundant. Why is this beautiful city which the sun falls in love, with the warm people like its climate and its history not a tourist attraction? As you know, Harran, the mother of civilizations, witnessed a development that changed the established understanding of history. Göbeklitepe is now evoking the curiosity of the whole world. We should make use of these opportunities. We should make our region prepared for the influx of tourists. We should make contribution to the promotion of our national assets. To this end, we should first establish domestic peace, appreciate our wealth, and unearth them.”
Expressing that Şanlıurfa is one of the symbol cities of brotherly life Mrs. Emine Erdoğan, extended her thanks to the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock and the farmers for organizing the program.
1.7 Billion TL Support for Certified Seed, Seedling and Sapling Holders
In his speech, Mr. Ahmet Eşref Fakıbaba, the Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock stated that they have provided 1.7 billion TL support payment to certified seeds, seedling and sapling holders and producers for the last 10 years and noted “we achieved substantial increases in productivity, quality and export of seedling production thanks to this support payment. While certified seedling production was 145 thousand tones in 2002, it increased 7 times and climbed to 1,050 million tons in 2017. Today, Turkey is a country that produces and exports seeds, seedlings, saplings and ornament plants.”
The Minister Fakıbaba pointed out that Turkey is one of the leading countries in terms of rich bio-diversity and has a high capacity with 12000 plant species available in natural plant cover of the country. Besides this, the Minister Fakıbaba noted that 4 thousand of these species are composed of endemic species.
The Minister Fakıbaba emphasized that Anatolian geography biologically brings important opportunities for mankind and stated:
“We are aware that our Ministry has very special duties regarding transfer of local seeds to future, their preservation and extensification for the purposes of cure and economic income. Preservation of our biodiversity has importance so much so that never existed in the past. The key to ensure self-sufficiency in food in the future depends on the conservation of agriculturally important seed species in appropriate conditions. Thus, seedling is one of the top policies we attach importance.”
Emine Erdoğan is giving support:
Indicating that they incorporated “preservation of local seeds” into a project with the support of Mrs. Emine Erdoğan, the wife of H. E. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Minister Fakıbaba stated that it is primarily aimed to preserve and reproduce seeds.
Pointing out that they will organize various activities under “Seed Meetings” in different regions, the Minister Fakıbaba emphasized that their aim is to create national seed sector which is internationally competitive.
While mentioning about support payments, the Minister Fakıbaba stated:
“We provided support payment accounting for 1,7 billion TL in total for producers and consumers of certified seed, sapling and seedling during the last ten years. With these supports, we substantially increased the productivity, quality and export in seed sector. While certified seedling production was 145 thousand tones in 2002, it increased 7 times and reached to 1,050 million tons in 2017. Today, Turkey is a country that produces and exports seeds, seedlings, saplings and ornament plants. We are exporting seeds to 79 countries.”
Fakıbaba, specifying that local varieties belong to Turkey with their original names and tastes emphasized they will maintain to give increasing amount of support to protect the varieties.
The Minister Ahmet Eşref Fakıbaba and Mrs. Emine Erdoğan, accompanied by Mrs. Meryem bint Ahmed Tıkbır, the wife of the President of Mauritania visited stands belonging to eastern and southeastern provinces and talked to the farmers later.
Mrs. Emine Erdoğan, stroking a lamb in there, was present in the cultivation area later and planted seedling in the memory of the day.