Turkey inks agriculture deals with six African countries
ANTALYA - Anadolu Agency
AA photoTurkey and six African countries signed cooperation deals in agriculture, fisheries and livestock in the Mediterranean resort province of Antalya on April 28.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Turkey’s Food, Agriculture and Livestock Minister Faruk Çelik recalled Turkey’s ongoing efforts to develop agricultural cooperation with the continent since 2005.
As a result of these efforts, Turkey’s trade with Africa increased from $5 billion to $18 billion, Çelik said.
“In terms of agriculture, our trade has increased from $418 million up to $2.5 billion. We know that these figures are not sufficient. We are all aware of this. The aim of all these meetings is to raise our trade volume, especially in the area of agriculture and to further develop our relationships in every field,” he added.
April 28 was the last day of Turkey-Africa First Agriculture Ministers Meeting and Agribusiness Forum. Organized by the Turkish Food, Agriculture and Livestock Ministry, the two-day event hosted more than 300 participants, including ministers, from 54 African countries.
The deals were signed with Congo, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Guinea, Rwanda and Gambia.
Çelik underlined that agriculture was a strategic sector and a must for the African continent.
“African continent holds one fourth of the whole arable land in the world. That is why it is not possible to ignore the agricultural potential in Africa,” he said, adding Turkey was “extending its hand to Africa not to take something from it, but “to make sure that Africa stands on its own feet.”
Çelik noted that the participating agriculture ministers addressed significant topics and problems regarding the sector in their countries.
Sacko Josefa Leonel Correa, African Union commissioner for rural economy and agriculture, said African countries and Turkey worked toward starting cooperation.
“We are now witnessing a political will in Turkey. This is highly important for the development of the agriculture sector and for the development of African countries. We are aware of the effort,” Sacko said.
Sacko underlined that they were working in the fields of livestock, fisheries, environment, irrigation and sanitation.
“During the meetings, we listen to different presentations and projects. I believe that we are on the right path,” she said.
Sacko praised Turkey’s experience in the area of agriculture as “one of the largest exporters of agricultural commodities.”
“Hence, we have a lot to learn from you and we can benefit from your experiences,” she said.