Turkiye's agriculture and forestry minister on Friday called for more investment in innovation and digitalization to increase food production and achieve food security.
Participating at the Vision for the Future: Transition to Digital Agriculture international conference, which was held in Azerbaijani capital Baku, via video link, Vahit Kirisci spoke about the global challenges toward food security, opportunities as well as Turkiye's efforts in this regard.
The hybrid event brought together various stakeholders to share global experiences, vision and developments in agricultural and digital rural transformation.
"Increased pressure on natural resources for production, and the need for more investment in innovation and digitalization are the main challenges for all of us," he said. "We must build a market where the entire chain integrates 'from farm to fork'."
Kirisci said the integration of information and communication technologies is key to "low-cost, high-efficiency" sustainable agriculture.
Expressing his pleasure over collaboration of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) with Turkiye, he said the two parties are partnering in various fields, including agriculture, biodiversity, forestry, and climate change.
Turkiye toward agricultural digitalization
The minister highlighted Turkiye's projects for agricultural digitalization such as the National E-Agriculture Strategy initiated in cooperation with FAO, and Digital Agriculture Market (DITAP) to increase marketing opportunities for both small farmers and big players in the industry.
"With the Agriculture and Forestry Academy portal, we support farmers with up to date information and video tutorials on various topics," Kirisci said, adding that it was launched after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Turkish minister said the country's e-agriculture portal contains nearly 140 public services, which can be availed through the internet, without visiting provincial and district directorates.
Early warning, tracking systems
Kirisci also mentioned other innovative projects meant to ease farmers' daily lives, such as the early warning system to help prepare for climate change, food insecurity; as well as animal tracking system, and the environment friendly electric tractor prototype.