Turkey: an opportunity not to be missed

One of the newest members of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists, Turkey, invites fellow journalists from IFAJ and ENAJ countries to join them for a highly informative snapshot of modern Turkish agriculture this April (7-9).

A favourable climate and suitable geography ensures agriculture plays an important role in the Turkish economy. Together, food and agriculture contribute 9 per cent to the country’s GDP and provide a quarter of all employment.

What’s more, by 2023, the Turkish government’s ambition is that the country will be one of the world’s top five for agricultural production. Meanwhile it’s one of just a handful of countries that is able to claim food self-sufficiency.

İsmail Ugural, the president of the Turkish Guild, has compiled a comprehensive, diverse and appealing programme for up to 20 participants. Accommodation, meals and all transfers will be provided by generous sponsorship, leaving delegates to cover only the costs of their flights to İzmir.

The tour kicks off on Thursday 7 April with visits to the local commodity exchange and exporters’ union, followed by afternoon visits to dairy and red meat processing plants. Delegates will be formally welcomed to İzmir by the Metropolitan Mayor at an evening dinner.

Day two opens with breakfast on a dairy farm, before visiting an organic farm and a meeting with a dairy co-operative. Those with horticultural interests will appreciate the afternoon visit to an ornamental plant nursery, before rounding off the day in the company of the Mayor of Ödemiş County.

Back in İzmir, the final day sees delegates touring a factory producing Mediterranean food products, owned by a local family with agricultural interests. Co-operative visits follow for two classic Mediterranean crops: olives and raisins. To conclude this whistlestop tour showing the sheer diversity of Turkish agriculture, Saturday afternoon’s points of interest include the Türkay AgriMachinery factory, and a tour of a local aquaculture facility.

A final night dinner will doubtless provide a much-needed opportunity to relax, before transfers to the airport on Sunday morning for the journey home.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming our IFAJ and ENAJ friends in İzmir,” says İsmail, “for three days of real insight into Turkish agriculture.

“As a new member of IFAJ, it’s a privilege to be able to host you and show you what our industry can do.”

Needless to say, we expect a healthy response to this tremendous opportunity. Places will be allocated on a strictly first-come, first-served basis, and on the initial basis of one delegate per IFAJ or ENAJ member country.

We suggest that flights are organised as soon as you have received confirmation of your application, and will ask for subsequent confirmation of the flight booking to ensure that all allocations are filled.

The deadline for applications will be February 29, 2016 or when all places are filled, whichever comes sooner.

Full programme

Wednesday, 6 April
Delegates arrive at İzmir Airport
Transfer to hotel

Thursday, 7 April
09.00  Meeting at İzmir Commodity Exchange
11.00  Meeting at Aegean Exporters Union
13.00  Lunch and Meeting at Directorate of İzmir Food Agriculture and Livestock
16.00  Visit to Pınar Dairy Factory
17.30  Visit to Pınar Red Meat Factory
19.30  Dinner with Metropolitan Mayor of İzmir

Friday, 8 April
08.30  Breakfast at Arif Gürdal Dairy Farm
11.00  Visit to Gürsel Tonbul Organic Farm
13.00  Lunch at Tire County
14.30  Visit to Tire Dairy Coop
16.30  Visit to Ornamental Plants in Ödemiş
20.00  Dinner with Mayor of Ödemiş County

Saturday, 9 April

09.00  Visit to KFC Food Company
10.30  Visit to Tariş Olive Oil Coop
12.30  Lunch at Tariş Raisin Coop
15.00  Visit to Türkay Agri Machinery Factory
17.00  Visit to Aquaculture Farm in Çeşme
19.30  Dinner in Seferihisar County

Sunday, 10 April
Delegates transfer from hotel to airport for return flights.

The IFAJ’s Global Office will be handling bookings; please register on the booking form as soon as possible. Please note – you MUST be an IFAJ or ENAJ member to successfully register; that means you MUST be a paid-up member of your domestic guild or association.

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