“The virtual agriculture market will bring farmers and consumers on a single platform and address price fluctuations”
Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli addressed an online press conference, described the project as a milestone in the way of planned agriculture.
Turkey on Wednesday set up a digital ecosystem for the agriculture sector to establish a direct link between the cultivator and the consumer.
Launching the Digital Agriculture Market, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry said that it will enable stakeholders dealing with agricultural supply and demand to meet in the digital marketplace and ensure that the farmers will earn more income. It will also help the consumer to access cheaper agricultural products.
"This project is a milestone in planned agriculture, aiming to cover 10% of Turkey's fruit and vegetable production at the first stage," Pakdemirli said.
He said the project will not only bring the supply and demand in one place, but it will also help in planned cultivation.
"Thanks to this system, where the entire chain from seed to fork can be tracked and sustainable production is provided, small farmers will get the same good prices in competitive conditions as large farmers," he said.
The system will also ensure zero wastage in the agricultural production chain. The minister recalled that one of every three agricultural products produced in the world goes into the waste.
The first phase of the project will involve vegetables, fruits, legumes, besides agriculture inputs like livestock, fertilizers, medicine, and seeds, said the minister.
COVID-19 raises fears about food security
He said that the COVID-19 pandemic has raised fears about food security and has highlighted the importance of agriculture.
''By managing the pandemic era well, we need to prepare the Turkish agriculture sector for the post-coronavirus period,'' the minister said.
The minister explained that the project will be enhanced to cover the entire agriculture sector to include cooperatives to unions, farmers, producers, fertilizers, pesticides, financing sectors, and the insurance sector.
He said that Turkey's strategic geographical position allows the country to reach 40% of the world population. The minister added that this will allow building contact with a $1.9 trillion agricultural economy.
"Turkey is among the few countries in the world in terms of vegetable and animal production. In the agriculture production it is ranked first in Europe and 10th in the world," the minister said.
He emphasized that Turkey should continue to hold this position by further developing strategies to increase competitiveness even more.