One quarter of the world's greenhouse gas emissions come from food production. Aegean exporters, who have been feeding the world with organic production for 36 years, draw attention to the climate crisis in Agriculture Week celebrated on 11-17 January.
Speaking that the agricultural sector is experiencing its golden age with the pandemic, Aegean Exporters' Associations Coordinator Vice President and President of the Dried Fruit and Products Exporters Association Birol Celep announced that the Aegean Exporters' Association members' agricultural exports in 2020 reached 4 billion 5 million dollars with an increase of 100 percent.
“In 2020, as the Aegean Dried Fruit and Products Exporters Association, we exported 846 million dollars. The value-value chain can be expanded by creating a great will with the awareness of organic production and common sense. Combating climate change is a race against time and an ethical showdown. Even the slightest effort is important. We have to be triggers. Many projects are implemented for Organic Agriculture and Good Farming practices, seed banks, protection and expansion of agricultural areas, and prevention of food waste. Now all consumers know that they need to seriously reflect on global issues. We can increase our brand value by equipping our products with innovations that will exist in the future. The "Protect Food, Protect Your Table" campaign initiated by our Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Mr. Bekir Pakdemirli, has mobilized the ecological sensitivity of the society.
Less chemicals, proper soil tillage essential
Hayrettin Uçak, President of the Aegean Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters Association, emphasizes the importance of organic production and plant nutrition by saying that foods produced with existing methods will cause 80 metric trillion tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 1,4 years, according to the research of Journal Science.
“Using less chemicals, proper soil treatment will prevent 540 billion metric tons of emissions. The pandemic has once again demonstrated that food is vital. In 2020, we became an increase record holder with exports of 17 billion 1 million dollars with an increase of 39 percent. For years, we have resolutely resisted shoulder to shoulder in order for the consumer to reach healthy food, to produce while preserving biological diversity and to direct our farmers to the right production methods. As a result, our principle, which is not only human-oriented, but also thinks about the whole ecosystem, and defends organic agriculture, emerged. "
Mustafa preferred: We live in the lands where the world's best quality food products are grown
Chairman of the Aegean Grain Pulses and Oil Seeds and Products Exporters Association Mustafa preferred, “We exceeded the 2020 million dollar export target we set for 500 and carried our exports to 14 million dollars with an increase of 505 percent. We live in the lands where the world's best quality food products are grown. 75 percent of Turkey's exports of organic products we are performing. Drought and food safety are among the priority issues we focus on and take precautions. Organic production is a process that starts from seed. Many projects are carried out by the state, especially the ancestor seed. In fact, the whole point is that we learn how to activate our potential. ” said.
Synchronization of the entire value chain is possible with digitalization
Saying that they have increased their exports by 2020 percent to 4 million dollars in 984, Aegean Fisheries and Animal Products Exporters Association President Bedri Girit explains that the food supply chain is responsible for 26 percent of global carbon emissions:
“All stages such as land use, animal feed, farm stage, processing, transportation, packaging and retail affect the process. Agricultural areas have decreased by 18 percent in the last 12,3 years. Digital agriculture is the only way to increase the yield per unit area to meet the food demand of 7,8 billion people. It is possible to produce more quality, controlled, data-based products in a unit area, increase efficiency, food safety, synchronization of the entire value chain, and integration of blockchain technology. R&D and innovation studies will bring the solution of many problems in the sector. "
Davut Er: We must activate innovation development programs
Davut Er, President of the Aegean Olive and Olive Oil Exporters Union, said, “In 2020, we reached an export figure of 159 million dollars. Turkey with its wide range of products in the food, one of the lucky country with great potential. While more than 820 million people in the world are fighting with hunger on the one hand, there is a climate crisis on the other. We are experiencing the driest winter of recent years. If we want humanity to have a chance, we must stimulate the global ecosystem. Ecosystems don't just absorb carbon, our lives depend on them. We have to be fast, think fast, act fast, not for our planet, but for ourselves. We must catch up with the pace of time by activating innovation development programs in the agricultural sector. " he spoke.
Agricultural technology emphasis
Cahit Doğan Yağcı, Chairman of the Aegean Furniture Paper and Forest Products Exporters Association, believes that a sustainable food production-consumption chain should be drawn through R&D and innovation.
“In 2020, we brought 645 million dollars to our country. We strive to work in a better world by focusing on the problems we are exposed to, understanding the dynamics well. If we cannot prevent climate change, we cannot ensure food security. Every year enough food is produced to feed the entire world population. However, according to the report of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), 11 percent of the world population cannot reach food. 1,3 billion tons of food is wasted. We should focus on Organic Agriculture and Good Agriculture practices, agricultural technologies, in short R&D and innovation, in order to prevent both climate and hunger crisis and to facilitate access to reliable and healthy food in the chain from the field to the fork. "