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EU and Turkey proud of achievements of National Rural Network through IPARD

The National Rural Network in Turkey marks its first year of activity with an event attended by Mustafa Aksu, Deputy Minister of Agriculture & Forestry and Gabriel Munuera Vinals, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Turkey on 10 January 2019 in Ankara.

Rural development networks enhance rural development by promoting innovative practices, with participation of a wide range of stakeholders (from farmers to public institutions and civil society organizations) with an eye to the wider public. Turkey launched its first network in November 2017, with support from the EU under the IPARD program.

“In the last ten years we set up national rural networks in all the EU member states which have become an invaluable source of knowledge and expertise. They have been a driving force behind the EU rural development policies. I fully share Turkey’s enthusiasm to create such a network. Turkey’s approach has been very innovative and a wide range of stakeholders are now engaged, including rural women organisations, local authorities and civil society organisations. The benefits are already visible and will be further developed as the network matures in 2019. The ideas for development will be a fertile ground for Turkey’s front runner 25 grass root Local Action Groups”, said Head of EU Delegation Christian Berger.

Through IPARD the EU provides significant funding for Turkey. The program is making a real difference in improving the lives of Turkey’s rural citizens and it will do even more in the coming years. The program has, so far, provided investment support to 15,000 projects on farms, food processing companies and rural diversification and enterprises. IPARD has created an estimated 57.000 jobs in rural areas and more are created every month. IPARD supports a wide spectrum of activities, from beekeepers to milk processors reaching out to a wide target group including women and young entrepreneurs.

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