Agriculture sector is positioning very important place in national economy. In the Turkish economy, agricultural (farm) production accounts for 7 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and it represents almost 20 percent of total national employment on its own. With a value-chain approach under a broader macroeconomic perspective, the combined added economic value of agriculture and food industries in the general economy is well above 35 percent of the GDP, and this accounts for almost 40 percent of national employment, when the food logistics, transportation, agricultural machinery/equipment, food manufacturing industry, food trade and related services sectors are included in the equation. With no doubt, aforementioned figures, on its own, clearly show how these two sectors are important for each other and for the economy as a whole, and how an inclusive and holistic policymaking process is necessary for both sectors and for the future of the nation in general. Agriculture and food sectors are closed proficiency areas so that the effect level is incontrovertibly high and the alliance is strong. A regulation or policy related to the agriculture or food sector occur similar effects. Besides, regulations in the food and agriculture sectors, such as support, subsidies, price policies and product safety, lead to public intervention compared to other sectors. Particularly the EU and a large number of developed countries, the decision makers in these sectors are involved in policy and decision-making processes in a participatory manner. These actors also have an effective lobbying strength (advocacy), based on both the value expressed by the agri-food duo for community access to nutritious food and the weight of the economy / employment. In other words, while the unity and alliance of agri-culture sector will be fulfilled, they could not remain indifferent to civilian demands that directly affect voter behaviour in terms of community welfare. It is obviously seen that there is a lack of structured common policy perspective, agriculture and food sectors value chain approach with civilian partners in Turkey. In this field, the discourse of the decision-makers and the decisions they take are of our interest and it needs to be discussed. In order for the agri-food sector to fulfil its objectives and to find its equivalent in real life, farmers, industry stakeholders (processors) and consumers need to be included in the policy-making processes.
The negotiation process of food value chain’s different actors is crucial to solve the related problems of both sides of value chain’s actors. If these actors will correctly identify their own problems, train themselves to advocate effectively, and manage to act together for common lobbying, they will influence the course of the agri-food agenda by being involved in policy-making processes. As GİFT, we’re bring into being ‘’Strengthening Policy-Dialogue and Joint-Lobbying Perspective among Farmer and Food Industry Associations” Project. Our aim is to strengthen civil democratic participation in agri- food policies, to contribute to the establishment of the common lobbying skills, discourse, culture and practice of reconciliation between the actors of these two sectors.
How we do?
With our project; financed by the European Union Civil Society Support Program for the period of 2019-2020,
- Contributing to generate a holistic approach in regards to accurate, reliable and impartial data for farmers, processors, consumers and decision makers.
- Raising awareness and produce knowledge about the importance, scope and know-how of joint lobbying.
- Producing tools and knowledge to ensure the technical capacity and skill development of joint lobbying in the agri-food sectors.
- Addressing the problematic policy areas from an innovative approach and produce concrete solutions through impact analysis and comparative models.
- Instead of being involved in desk policy discussions, we will work to ensure that the main issues are discussed with direct information from the field.
What we do?
- Establishing an ‘Advisory Committee’ with important actors from the agri-food sectors,
- Bringing together the members of the Advisory Committee to identify 6 policy areas that concern both sectors,
- Preparing, publishing and distributing a Comparative Reporting which includes common advocacy experiences, advocacy tools and methodologies and country exemplifications in agri-food sectors,
- Preparing, publishing and distributing a Guideline on policy advocating instruments with a specific reference to the agriculture and food fields,
- Organizing field visits to important agricultural basins and negotiating with local stakeholders,
- Carrying on a training model and study to build alliances based on advocacy tools, communication strategies and civil society dialogue both at the local and central levels,
- Developing related contents in the scope of our project through digital platforms, data generation and information flow to public policies and regulations in order to ensure the effective communication of common policy-making perspective in agri- food sectors,
- Using the power of social media to ensure that the produced policy alternatives reach a wider audience,
- Bringing together academia, public sector, companies and international organizations with the helping hand of our Food and Agriculture Policy Summit and opening targeted common policy areas to discussion with the assistance of Advisory Committee’s guidance,
- Sharing different policy alternatives with decision makers and carrying on a common lobbying works.