UN official: Turkey's food supplies safe amid pandemic

UN official: Turkey
# 18 April 2020 14:31 (UTC +04:00)

As it grapples with coronavirus, Turkey is not expected to face any major problems in the short- or mid-term in its food supply or food security, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) representative in Ankara, Turkey’s capital, APA reports citing Anadolu Agency. 

"We are welcoming the measures taken by the government to help farmers and food-related business operators by postponing tax payments, advancing agricultural support payments, [and] providing interest-free loans for investment and operation which are provided for small farmers and processors," Viorel Gutu told Anadolu Agency, hailing state campaigns to cushion the pandemic’s economic impact.

Gutu added that he also backs the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry’s "Evde Hayat, Sofrada Balik - Life at Home, Fish on the Plate" promotional campaign.

The campaign, promoting the retail sale of fish at wholesale prices, aims to boost household consumption of fish, which would be a welcome development both from a nutritional prospective and for supporting producers.

He also praised other government steps to secure the agricultural production process and food supply such as the project of allocating idle agricultural lands under public domain to farmers to grow certain types of products, such as cereals and oil seeds.

"The COVID-19 outbreak will pass sooner or later, and there is a need to ensure that agricultural and food production is continued," he stressed.