fbpx EU and Turkey hold first high-level dialogue on agriculture | EU Delegation to Turkey
Janusz Wojciechowski

EU and Turkey hold first high-level dialogue on agriculture

Wed, 05/11/2022 - 09:27

On 11-12 May, Commissioner for agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski, is in Turkey to hold the very first EU-Turkey high-level dialogue on agriculture with Mr. Vahit Kirişçi, Turkish minister of agriculture and forestry. Under the overall theme of “Sustainable Agriculture for Food Security”, Commissioner Wojciechowski and Minister Kirişçi will discuss three main topics: food security, agricultural reforms and rural development strategies in Turkey and the EU; trade in agri-food products between Turkey and the EU; and the EU support to rural development in Turkey through the Instrument for Pre-Accession in Rural Development (IPARD).

This first ever dialogue builds on the premise that the relationship between the EU and Turkey on agricultural matters and trade will benefit from a closer cooperation. This proves to be as topical as ever as we face global challenges to food security and affordability brought about by the ongoing Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. The Commission keeps monitoring the situation closely and its impact on farmers and food security, following up on its Communication presented on 23 March on the topic.

Trade is an important part of EU and Turkey relations in the agri-food sector. Turkey is the EU’s eleventh export destination and the eighth import origin for agri-food products while the EU is Turkey’s major trading partner. Thanks to the Customs Union in place since 1996, this bilateral trade has grown sevenfold during the last decades for the benefits of both sides. It is important to keep properly implementing the bilateral agreement so that trade opportunities remain available for EU and Turkish agri-food operators.

The European Commission has recently adopted the third rural development programme (IPARD) under the instrument for pre-accession assistance for Turkey with a budget of €430 million for 2021-2027. Together with Turkey’s national contribution and beneficiaries’ input, in total around €1 billion will be available to support farmers and rural areas in Turkey. In addition to helping build a resilient agri-food sector and raising the attractiveness of rural areas, IPARD reflects the main objectives of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy. The recently adopted IPARD programme will support Turkey in reinforcing aspects related to green transition, introducing knowledge and innovation-based measures to build modern and sustainable agriculture, acknowledging the smaller farms’ role in rural development and promoting short supply chains.  Turkey has also been joining the efforts of the EU’s green transition, adopting a Green Deal Action Plan.

Turkey has had an excellent track record of absorption and implementation of funds since the launch of the first programme in 2011. The first two IPARD programmes in Turkey already led to more than 20 000 investment projects in the agri-food sector and rural diversification, as well as 71 000 jobs created and more than 2 000 investment projects aligning to EU standards.

On 12 May, Commissioner Wojciechowski will also visit a family farm funded under the Turkish IPARD II programme (2014-2020).

For more information

The IPARD programme in Turkey

Agri-food trade statistics between EU and Turkey