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Greenpeace’s new project aims to empower Turkey’s agriculture

Greenpeace has announced a project which aims to empower Turkey’s decreasing agricultural production by allowing farmers to sell the food they produce without intermediaries.

The project titled Protect the farmer, save the farming, was launched on  Wednesday to mark World Food Day.

Berkan Ozyer, Greenpeace Mediterranean Food, and Agriculture Project Officer underlined in another report on Turkey’s agriculture that the number of farmers in the Farmers’ Registry System has diminished to 600,000 in the last 15 years.

Ozyer held forth that the way to keep farmers producing is establishing farmers’ markets that allow them to personally sell the food they produced.

“We call on municipalities to establish new producers’ markets, increase them in number and make them sustainable by carrying out all the [necessary] inspections. In this way, the producers [of food] will earn more and the consumers will be able to reach healthier food,” he expressed.

The organization also made references to a report by Greenpeace, which underlined that almost a billion people around the world go to sleep hungry every night while 30 percent of the world’s food is being wasted.

The world produces more than enough food to feed all of its seven billion citizens, the organization said, adding that around one billion people are overweight or obese.

“Our problem today is not one of producing more food, but producing food where it is most needed,” it indicated.

“We are living in a broken food system. It needs to be replaced urgently for the benefit of all people, and the planet,” the report warned.

According to the report, the current food system fails to ensure peoples’ right to food and to protect biodiversity, or the wider environment.

It stated that conventional farming has now become a major contributor to water scarcity and water contamination in most parts of the world due to using 70 percent of freshwater resources.

The report further noted that conventional farming also causes “soil degradation including widespread soil acidification due to overuse of chemical fertilizers or losses in soil organic matter.”

It has been estimated, the report also said, that the surface waters in 43 percent of the entire global land area are potentially subject to insecticide load as a result of the current agricultural practices.

Greenpeace recommends ecological farming, which they say combines modern science and innovation with respect for nature and biodiversity.

“It ensures healthy farming and healthy food. It protects the soil, the water, and the climate. It does not contaminate the environment with chemical inputs or use genetically engineered crops,” the organization explains.

Greenpeace argues that ecological farming could on average produce 30 percent more food per hectare than conventional agriculture. This percentage can increase to 80 percent in developing countries, it adds.

Greenpeace defines itself as a global network of independent national and regional organizations that use non-violent creative action to pave the way towards a greener, more peaceful world and to confront the systems that threaten our environment.

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