An EU project supporting eco-friendly farming and food safety was kicked off last week in Ankara. The event was attended by Deputy Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock Mr Mehmet Daniş, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Turkey Mr Gabriel Munuera Vinals, as well as representatives of the member states involved in the project, Dutch Ambassador H.E. Mr Kees van Rij, Estonian Ambassador H.E. Ms Marin Mottus, and First Secretary of the French Embassy Mr Marc Ivarra.
"Cross compliance" is an important element under the EU Common Agriculture Policy. It links direct payments to compliance by farmers with basic standards concerning the environment, food safety, animal and plant health and animal welfare, as well as the requirement of maintaining the land in good agricultural and environmental condition.
The project aims at establishing a cross compliance system in Turkey that will link agricultural support to farmers to compliance with statutory management requirements by developing standards in line with EU legislation, raising awareness among farmers and checking the compliance of farmers with the standards set.
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) is involved in the process design, capacity development and facilitation of developing the Cross Compliance mechanism for Turkey by providing the Resident Twinning Adviser (Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation: Esther Koopmanschap). Furthermore, WUR experts are involved in providing policy support and advice to colleagues in Turkey and they aim to facilitate critical thinking in support of strategy development and action planning.
Within the scope of the project, existing administrative and control systems will be assessed, draft legislation as well as a cross compliance implementation plan will be prepared, trainings on the principles of the system will be provided and awareness raising activities will be carried out among farmers. The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (MFAL) will be assisted by Dutch, Estonian and French experts during the twelve months of the project. The total budget of the project is €930.000, 95% of which is financed by the European Union.