Rural dreams interlaced with nets: The launch of the National Network for Rural Development in Turkey
A symbolic piano recital for making new connections started the Turkish National Network for Rural Development. Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (MoFAL) has launched the Turkish National Network which is an important element of Instrument for Pre-Accession Rural Development (IPARD) Programme. The launch event attended by 300 people from the relevant ministries, stakeholders' organisations, local governments, and NGOs took place in Ankara on 28 November.
The participants could also visit stands of the first 25 Turkish Local Action Groups (LAGs) created via the EU IPARD programme. People buzzing between stands, tasting the local products and talking with proud LAGs showed that there is a real need to make new connections in rural development.
Mr. Hasan Ozlu, Deputy Undersecretary of MoFAL underlined the importance of networks for rural development. Muhammed AKYOL, Mayor of Gördes said that bringing together public and private sector in a well-balanced manner the LAG consists of NGO representatives, young people, female representatives and businessmen, is new but has a lot of potential.
More work on the actual shape of the Network and its working priorities will come in 2018. Turkey is also looking at the work and knowledge gathered in the EU Network for Rural Development (ENRD) with interest.