The 44th Incontri con İş, which has been held by Türkiye İş Bankası since 2008, was held in Izmir.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting on “technology and sustainability in agriculture”, İşbank General Manager Hakan Aran said: “We put agriculture first among our strategic priority areas. Because there are some concepts that, it doesn’t matter. as we speak, this concept cannot contribute much unless it is compiled and does not work with verbs and concrete actions. As a country, we always talk about the importance of agriculture and how fundamental and strategic it is for us. shortcomings are important in doing this justice and in reaching a different place in this field. In the next period you will see an extremely active and effective İşbank to overcome the shortcomings we see in the sector, overcome some problems and write a different story in agriculture, putting our hands under responsibility even in agriculture. “
Pointing out that Turkey has great potential to become an agricultural country, Aran said this opportunity should be exploited to the fullest.
Stressing that agricultural land and farmers are decreasing, Aran said that farming becomes more difficult and arduous every day and said: “In an environment where the prices of all the inputs used in agriculture are rising, all players are torn between raising prices and not raising prices despite rising prices. “Farmers are thinking about how they can spend the next year as they earn less than they spend.”
“Despite all the difficulties, agriculture is one of the rare sectors with a current account surplus”
Noting that despite all the difficulties, the agricultural sector in Turkey is still one of the rare sectors with a current account surplus, Aran said the sector had a current account surplus of $ 5.7 billion in 2021 with exports of $ 22.9 billion and imports of $ 17.2 billion.
Pointing out that agriculture’s share of GDP decreased from 8.2% in 2011 to 5.6% in 2021, Aran said that Turkey’s GDP grew by 11% in 2021, but agriculture has grown. reduced by 2.2%.
Hakan Aran said: “We say a lot in agriculture, we make a lot of promises. “But the results show that much more needs to be done in agriculture,” he said.
Stating that for many years there has been talk of creating and implementing a clear agricultural policy, Aran said that what is written in the agricultural policy in the 9th and 10th development plans clearly reveals what should be done. Aran said: “After we have revealed what to do, we need to improve ourselves a little in doing, follow what has been done and add it.”
“We have to go a long way in achieving the objectives”
Explaining that agricultural policy in the 9th development plan includes ensuring food security, the sustainable use of natural resources and the creation of an organized and highly competitive agricultural structure, Aran said that in the 10th development plan, the problems infrastructural are solved on the basis of advanced technologies, which is based on adequate and balanced nutrition of society. , he recalled that it includes the creation of an agricultural sector with high organization and productivity, an efficient and demand-based production structure, greater international competitiveness and a sustainable use of resources.
Aran said: “You will find very few shortcomings in these texts. Because while creating these ideas they are taken by all the players in the sector and by the people who have dedicated their years to this theme. Having established this policy, we need to cover great distances and change a number of things in terms of how it is implemented and how well the objectives are achieved.
Aran said he has formed the agricultural banking team within İşbank, which is responsible for agricultural banks and aims to fulfill the responsibilities of the financial sector in implementing relevant policies, if any.
Recalling that they have implemented an acceleration program called Workup Agri in order to find and attract initiatives that want to use their creative and entrepreneurial power in agricultural technologies in order to combine agriculture, technology and finance, Aran continued his speech as follows: change balance. If we want to change anything in agriculture, our farmers must be able to profit from agriculture. It must be able to produce more efficiently at lower costs and to sell its products in a competitive environment. The areas of agricultural production affected by technology are increasing rapidly. I believe we can change history in agriculture with the support of technology ”.
“It is our duty to bring together the minds that will change history with our farmers”
Noting that agriculture is extremely open to being affected by natural hazards, Aran said the solutions that prevent natural events, climate change, drought, rainfall, hail and floods from adversely affecting agricultural production are not are still being implemented. Aran said: “For as many brains as there are candidates to change history on this issue, it is our duty to take what they produce and put it together with our farmers. I think the acceleration programs are very valuable in this sense, ”he said.
Explaining that they will offer different financing modalities and financial instruments that will unite farmers with technology producers at the bank’s agricultural specialization branch, Aran said it is difficult to meet the needs of agriculture with traditional approaches, both in terms of periods of spending of money and in terms of income generation, and that it is necessary to develop financial products and services for this.
“We must bring the development of the country in parallel with the development of agriculture”
Hakan Aran continued his speech as follows: “We emphasize the following; If we do not reach a good economic level, if we fail to increase our financial development and our national income, we cannot achieve a result in agriculture beyond the result in economics. We can only progress in agriculture as much as we improve in the economy. If the Turkish economy does not exceed a certain threshold, if our per capita income does not exceed a certain level, we cannot write a story alone in agriculture. Therefore, we should parallel the development of our country with the development of agriculture. We are ready to fulfill any responsibility that falls on us in this regard. While we are ready to do all of these things at this juncture, under these conditions, developments around us show that we need to solve this problem much faster and address it in a much more vital way. “
Stressing that the Russia-Ukraine war has revealed once again how important food security and self-sufficiency are in this sense, Aran said: “Indeed, with this war, the whole world is now at the forefront of the ban on grain exports of Russia, India and some countries, discuss a major food crisis, a food disaster. I hope that before the world encounters a food disaster or a global crisis, we, all the institutions and organizations in Turkey, those who they put their heart on this problem, the state and the private sector together, we will overcome these difficulties and we will quickly overcome our problems. But these are not problems that are solved in a day, which we talk about today and are solved tomorrow. bank, we do not address such a topic. We have a long-term view of every problem we get our hands on. I would like to emphasize that we have achieved results in periods of 5, 10, 15 years and that these results are not on the scale of the Bank, but on the scale of Turkey. Therefore, we have decided to write a different story on agricultural banking in Turkey. I think that our first subsidiary specializing in agriculture, which we opened today, is a milestone ”.
“Even producers struggling with climate change are facing high inflation”
Isbank’s Deputy Director General Izlem Erdem also said that Turkey has very important agricultural growing areas, but these areas have been neglected along with industrialization.
Affirming that while producers are struggling with climate change to efficiently use existing agricultural land, on the other hand, they face the increase in agricultural input prices caused by high inflation, Izlem Erdem said:. This is a very difficult increase to manage, which includes the effects of climate change, the rising costs of the pandemic and the factors created by the Russia-Ukraine war. However, the exchange rate shocks we have experienced also have an effect. We can handle some of it. Some of them are still a major cost item … So we can manage the areas that we can’t manage in partnership with our farmers as a country, institutions and individuals, and we can make the areas that will increase productivity more balanced. Here, too, our guide will be science. As a bank, we attach great importance to this. It is important to include technology more in agriculture, to cooperate with agricultural faculties while doing this, to teach agricultural banking to the students there, and to listen closely to our farmers. As in the branch of specialization in agriculture that we have opened today, we will also have important gains to make them feel how close we are to them, to increase the efficiency of our farmers and to be able to tell them that we will act together with them in every field “.
The chairman of the board of İzmir Commodity Exchange Işınsu Kestelli, the deputy director general of İşbank İzm Erdem and the chairman of the board of the Aegean Region Chamber of Industry Ender Yorgancılar attended the meetings with the meeting in İş and have held speeches.
At the meeting held in collaboration with Dünya Newspaper, after the opening moderated by Hakan Güldağ, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Dünya Newspaper; Representatives of different segments of the agricultural sector in Turkey (Murat Bolat, Managing Partner of Fresh Milk and Dairy Products, Kerem Akıner, Director of Agricultural Banking of İşbank, Murat Salih, co-chair of TTGV Stok Tarım, Ali Ekber Yıldırım, Editor of Dünya Newspaper Agriculture and İrfan Donat, Agricultural Editor of BloombergHT) A panel was also held.