European University of Lefke (EUL) Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Technologies Faculty Member, Department of Horticulture Production and Marketing Assist. Prof. Dr. İbrahim Kahramanoğlu made a statement on the World Farmers Day, and drew attention to the importance of production and farming as well as health and science, especially with the covid-19 virus recently.
Starting his words by giving examples from about 7,000 years ago, Kahramanoğlu stated that the transition of human beings from the nomadic life to the settled life style was possible with the start of agriculture approximately 9,000 years ago, so that the first villages and towns were established and the collective living communities replaced the hunter-gatherer societies.
Kahramanoğlu said, “When we look at the history of the world, we see that agricultural activities play an important role in the rise and fall of many empires. An example of this is the Sumerian Empire in Mesopotamia, the world’s first literate society. The breakthroughs they have made in agriculture, irrigation and the increase in the productivity have been among the most important reasons for the rise of the empire. However, as a result of excessive irrigation, the water retention and salting of the soil caused the system to collapse in an instant and the empire experiencing food shortage and eventually being occupied by the neighbour empire. ”
Karamanoğlu: The process we are going through today tells us the importance of production and farmer.
“The process we are going through today tells us the importance of production and farmer more. While almost all sectors were closed for a certain period of time, it was not even thought by anyone to close the agricultural sector. Because human beings need food after oxygen and water in order to live, ”Karamanoğlu said,“ Even the most developed countries in the world today, because of the impending food shortage, closed their export and / or produce inputs (especially seeds) and as their primary target, pointed out that they had determined “self-sufficiency”.
What is being experienced today and has been experienced throughout the world history shows us the importance of production and farmers once again. Emphasizing that the foods that we consume on our table 3 times a day on average are a product of intense effort, and farmers working in the fields in cold or hot, the garden and its folds, Kahramanoğlu emphasized that, it is useful to emphasize some other developments that are experienced and ignored in the last 50 years
“Today, many scientists warn humanity that the most important global problems in the near future will be“ food safety ”and“ food security ”. Namely; While it is estimated that the world’s population will exceed 9 billion in 2050, it is reported that the natural resources required for food production (especially soil and water) have a decreasing trend ”. In summary, while the demand for food is increasing, the decrease in food supply will make the nutrition of mankind quite difficult, possibly it might lead food wars.
Pointing out that science and togetherness should come into play at this point, Kahramanoğlu listed some short-term steps to be taken regarding herbal production as follows:
- • First of all, our primary goal should be production planning in line with our existing assets and needs, so as to provide self-sufficiency in food. Within the framework of this planning, while “land-specific” alternation is also given importance to prevent the fatigue of the soil and nature, production of products that consume excessive water, which are difficult to manufacture and require excessive input should be avoided.
- • In the fight against diseases, pests and weeds, which are the main problems in production, an integrated struggle should be given importance in line with scientific and theoretical facts, alternatives should be followed regularly and shared with the producers.
- •Irrigation and fertilization programs should be carried out in line with the necessary observations and analyses in a specific manner to the land and the plant, thereby optimizing the use of inputs.
- Especially for the realization of these two articles, the distance between producers and agricultural engineers should be eliminated and farmers and engineers should be able to act together. In this context, legal regulations should be made and agricultural consultancy should be paved. However, while doing this, the work of the manufacturer should not be made difficult, on the contrary, it should be facilitated.
- • Both legal and technical measures should be taken to reduce post-harvest losses and also provide traceability, and cold chain and product labelling infrastructures should be developed. At this point, legal arrangements must be made to protect the economic rights of the producers.
- Necessary steps should be taken to protect the seed, which is one of the main inputs in production, especially to include local varieties in production.
- While in scientific studies, the priority is given to the solution of the above-mentioned problems, ways of obtaining higher efficiency with less input from the unit area should also be explored. Again, in this regard, it is useful to include some foods that are easily grown in our nature, adapted to our climate, traditionally consumed and included in our tables.
- •New developments in the world should be followed and the use of advantageous methods that are suitable for the conditions of our country should be expanded.
- • Pesticide use should be subject to license, and all inputs used in production should be traceable with the obligation to keep records.
- Producer trainings should turn from one-way information transfer to interactive conversations, ideas that will develop in these areas should be addressed, and solutions for problems should be explored.
Finally, emphasizing that as consumers we will need to change our consumption habits very soon, Kahramanoğlu said, “Providing sustainability in agricultural production has become the main goal worldwide. Success in such goals can only be achieved through intersectoral interaction. Therefore, an integrated and evidence-based approach is required among researchers, politicians, farmers, consumer organizations, the private sector, public and non-governmental organizations. The inclusion of all these sectors in decision-making and implementation will help increase productivity and reduce food insecurity in the long run worldwide. ”