Ministers Pivec and Pakdemirli take the view that "the exchange of experience and best practices is crucial for the enhanced cooperation between the two countries
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food hosted an international ministerial conference under the title Strengthening the Formation and Transfer of Knowledge for the Advancement of Agriculture and the Countryside that was held ahead of the AGRA Fair. The conference was attended by 15 foreign delegations, including a Turkish delegation that started its working visit yesterday by signing the adopted guidelines for the further cooperation between Slovenia and Turkey.
Ahead of the international conference, Slovenian Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Aleksandra Pivec and Turkish Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Bekir Pakdemirli took the floor at a press conference. In her introductory address, Minister Pivec stressed that the visit of the Turkish minister was of great importance as it represented the continuation of cooperation between Slovenia and Turkey. "During my working visit to Turkey, the minister and I agreed he would attend the AGRA Fair and the international conference that we are hosting today." Minister Pivec underlined that the purpose of the Turkish Minister of Agriculture and Forestry's visit was primarily to increase cooperation between the two countries. So far, the cooperation has covered the trade in goods.
The meeting aimed at reviewing the existing cooperation and finding opportunities to strengthen it even further. "The discussions with the Turkish minister covered the area of agriculture, forestry and food safety. One possible area of cooperation with Turkey concerns family farms and young farmers that are taking them over," the minister said. In Turkey, farms are, on average, even smaller than in Slovenia. Both countries also face a generational renewal challenge, which makes the exchange of experience in this area very important. The minister added, "The main theme of this year's AGRA Fair is digitalisation in agriculture. We discussed specific cases with the Turkish minister, exchanged information and highlighted good practices that exist in the two countries.
Much was also said about the food safety control system which is crucial for the trade of goods between the two countries. One of the most important topics in the conversation was about forestry, in particular the protection of forests against fires and pests, and forest management." Minister Pivec also touched upon the importance of expanding cooperation on international and research projects. "The final agreement is to have an action plan drawn up by the end of November to define specific activities which will be implemented in the future."
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Bekir Pakdemirli said that bilateral ties with Slovenia were very important for Turkey. "We have met twice in the last six months and I believe we will enhance our relations and cooperation. We are ready to work together in all areas of agriculture and forestry. In particular, we are ready to share our experiences, as both countries face similar problems. We are interested in family farms, young farmers and safe food.” He also said that Turkey was extremely successful in fire prevention and forest management. “We will share our experiences with you and help you. Indeed, I believe that trees do not belong to a country but are the property of the entire world.’" He also stressed that this exchange of knowledge and experience is the key to cooperation between the two countries.
Minister Pivec outlined the topic of the international conference organised by the Ministry ahead of the AGRA Fair; the conference was attended by 15 foreign delegations from 10 EU Member States, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and North Macedonia. "The conference addresses an extremely important topic of concern for all countries, namely ‘Strengthening the Formation and Transfer of Knowledge for the Advancement of Agriculture and the Countryside’." Knowledge and innovation play a key role in overcoming the many challenges that farmers and other users face on a daily basis at their work in fields, pastures, greenhouses, orchards, vineyards, hop fields, production, processing plants and elsewhere. The effective functioning of the Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS) depends on all stakeholders who are part of this system and shape it. The challenges are manageable, in particular through the enhanced and efficient cooperation between these stakeholders (farmers, researchers and advisors) and all those who share their knowledge and experience and thus co-create the transfer of innovation to agriculture, food and forestry.
The key message of the conference is the importance of agricultural policy measures that must keep up with technological developments, new technologies, processes and methods of work. In this way, greater productivity can be achieved while ensuring long-term food security and self-sufficiency, environmental protection, climate change management and adaptation, the strengthening of rural socio-economic structure and the improvement of the age structure and education of people in rural areas. “It is important to identify which policies, in addition to the CAP, influence the quality and efficient transfer of content into practice. To help answer this question, examples of good practices shared by all conference participants have been presented,” Minister Pivec stated.
The international ministerial conference concluded with a joint statement signed by the representatives of the countries with which they confirmed the importance of knowledge, innovation and digitalisation in agriculture. The statement underpins the promotion of innovative projects, stresses that the generation of knowledge and innovation in agriculture and in rural areas through the agricultural European Innovation Partnership (EIP-AGRI) is becoming the main policy tool, and highlights the importance of harmonisation and implementation of various policies. In issuing this statement, the participants pledged their commitment to strengthening the cooperation of various stakeholders at regional, national and European levels.