Minister Pakdemirli met with the farmers who start business by means of the Young Farmers Project initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in order to promote rural development, in Bedirler, Kızılcahamam. Pakdemirli (PhD) visited the farmlands cultivated with the government support.
Pakdemirli said we attach great importance to the projects conducted by the Ministry, especially for the young farmers because such projects directly affect people. "The fact that our people do not leave the soil is of great importance in terms of Turkey's and the world's food safety and security of supply. Some people must work in this sector, because agriculture is very important and strategic issue."
Pakdemirli said he is so glad to see the agricultural works carried out by means of supports on site and to feel the happiness of the farmers. Pakdemirli emphasized that the government always stands together with farmers.
Minister Bekir Pakdemirli pointed out that women's labor is also very important in agricultural activities. "The women must participate in the labor force. If we are willing to be a developed country and if we intend to become regional power in the 21st century, we need to increase the rate of participation of women in the workforce. The labor force participation rate of women in Turkey accounts for 30 percent while this rate almost accounts for 68-70 percent in European countries. In order to move forward, we have to implement multi-directional projects.
Pakdemirli remarked that another important issue is to be able to feed people at the place where they were born. "We desire the citizens not to leave their lands and villages. Our young people take a fancy to live in cities, at first they enjoy dynamic life but then they are looking for the peaceful and fresh life of the village again. The fact that our people do not leave the soil is of great importance in terms of Turkey's and the world's food safety and security of supply. Some people must work in this sector, because agriculture is a very important and strategic issue. It is not important to have a car or a dwelling if you do not have enough food. So, we appreciate the ones who cultivate and work in the soil.
"My weekly income equals to monthly minimum wage"
The farmers who established a business or grew their current businesses by benefiting from the project supports expressed their satisfaction.
İbrahim Sütçü, the mukhtar of the district of İnceyağız, said that he benefited from the rural development supports such as many farmers in his neighborhood.
Sütçü stated that he closed the clothing store and lost all of his property in the economic crisis of 2001. He expressed that he held on to life with the support of the government. He expressed that he understood not to survive in the city, returned to his village and started to farm with his family. "We're in good condition and we started to earn day by day. First of all, I bought a tractor in 2014 thanks to credit support given by our government. And then, we applied to the Young Farmer Project for my wife. We established a 504 m2 greenhouse by getting 100 percent grant."
Sütçü said that he can perform the work just in a day thanks to the tractor that equals to labor force of 10 workers in a week. He said that he is able to cultivate products 3 times in a year with the greenhouse that he established. He emphasized that he could not live such a comfortable life without the opportunities provided by the government. "Even if I have money, I can not live like this in a town. Young people who own land in village should not work in the cities with minimum wages. My weekly income equals to the income of a person earning monthly minimum wage. Life is not expensive here. Also, we spend a healthy life. All products are natural.
"I held on to life thanks to the support of our government"
İlknur Bostancı, a young woman farmer, said that she divorced 8 years ago and started to live with her family and daughter in Kızılcahamam.
Bostancı said that they lived on by working small-scale agricultural works until last year and this period was very difficult for them. "I learned that the state was supporting young farmers and then I applied last year. My application was accepted and I bought 6 cattle. For now, I am only raising these cattle, but I am planning to grow my business and set up a dairy. I held on to life thanks to the support of our government. I can live on my family now, and I can make plans for my daughter and my future, I am very happy."