EU and Turkey Supporting Rural Development Together in Ankara
HE Jülide Sarıeroğlu, Minister of Labour and Social Security, HE Dr Ahmet Eşref Fakıbaba, Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, and Mr Gabriel Munuera Vinals, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Turkey, get together today to mark the second phase of the EU's Rural Development programme in Ankara. The programme will fund rural development initiatives up until 2020.
Since the launch of the first EU-funded projects in 2011, the EU-funded Instrument for Pre-Accession for Rural Development programme (IPARD) has substantially improved the lives of Turkey's rural citizens. It has invested in some 11,000 projects, directly benefitting farms and food processing companies, while creating an estimated 56.000 jobs.
The programme, which is implemented through dedicated Turkish institutions accredited by the EU, provides economic development opportunities in 42 provinces of Turkey.
IPARD supports a wide range of activities and benefits farmers and entrepreneurs, from beekeepers to milk processors. It also specifically focuses on supporting women and young entrepreneurs. Projects funded under the Rural Development Program are encouraging investments marked by a transfer of technology progress and innovation. This helps bring the Turkish agri-food sector closer to EU standards and improve the sector's competitiveness. From its start, IPARD has supported the full upgrading to EU standards of 2,100 farms and processing establishments.
Between 2007 and 2020, the programme will have provided more than €1.3 billion from the EU budget in support for beneficiaries in Turkey. When taken together with national Turkish resources and private funding from beneficiaries, the total investment leveraged is in the range of €4 billion for 2007-2020, with a great potential of transforming the rural economy in the country.
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