Expanding Economic Ties with Turkey

The Center for Agribusiness and Rural Development (CARD) in partnership with Eurasia Partnership Foundation (EPF) and the Turkey-based Directiva Consulting implement a USAID-funded project entitled ‘Expanding Economic Ties with Turkey’ (EETT).

The project idea stems from the fact that agriculture is one of the fast-growing sectors of the Turkey’s economy that provides employment for 66 percent of the population, and is increasingly based on the latest technological know-how. There is a clear need for the Armenian agriculture entities and farmers to learn advanced practices from Turkey, like the elements of quality enhancement of products, as well as new technology and innovation opportunities. The project is using this opportunity to promote mutually beneficial economic partnerships and market linkages between Armenia- and Turkey-based businesses and non-governmental organizations in the dried fruits, dairy processing and green house sectors.

One-third of the agricultural activities in Turkey relate to livestock farming, involving some 2.5 million enterprises and farms. Considering the above facts the project organized dairy tour to Turkey. During the tour the participants visited International Food Technology Trade Fair in Istanbul. The exhibition showcased the latest technology and equipment for key sectors of agriculture, including Food Processing Technologies and Machinery, Food Additives, Food Packaging Technologies and Machinery, Bakery Technologies and Food Safety and Hygiene. The next important event was a seminar by Kromel Dairy Machinery in Yerevan, which became a platform for a fruitful discussion between the Sales and Marketing Group manager of Kromel Dairy Machinary, Seveket Caliskan, and the agribusiness representatives from Armenia During the seminar, the participants meet the demand. It was good platform for discussion.

CARD also organized a trip to Armenia for the export manager of Hydroponic Feed Systems, Ilkem Ayden, who visited local businesses and held a seminar for a group of 13 local businesses.

Apart from the diary, the fruit production is one of Turkey’s major agricultural sectors. Turkey is the largest dried fruit producer in the world with a 15% of the market share and 80% of dried apricots in the world market. In Armenia, fruit drying is a way to add value to fruit production, a commodity that has a very short harvesting period. There is a big demand for Armenian dried fruits domestically and abroad; however the quantity, quality, packaging and marketing technologies of the product require significant improvements. To address the need of developing the Armenian dried fruit production, CARD organized two Dried fruit tours to Turkey for Armavir and Meghri farmers and processors. The tour participants visited the fruit processing technology producers and fruit drying centers in Istanbul, Malatya and Izmir, which made it possible to effectively exchange experiences with their Turkey-based counterparts.

To support the project objectives, EPF is using its expertise in conflict-transformation and facilitated dialogue across borders to assure the communication and transactions between businesses from Armenia and Turkey. In particular, EPF holds orientation sessions in cross-cultural communication for the participants of the project, facilitates communication with the Turkey-based partner and other stakeholders, as well as helps with developing recommendations to further improve policies governing bilateral business interactions.

The implementing partners do hope that the project will help the Armenian agribusinesses develop awareness of the cooperation opportunities with Turkish companies and establish new business partnerships.

The objectives of the project are: (1) To develop and nurture lasting partnerships between non-governmental organizations, entities and businesses from Armenia and Turkey; and (2) To promote joint business activities between Armenia and Turkey through the exchange of technical expertise and increased business transactions in the dairy, dried fruits and greenhouse sectors.

For more information please visit CARD’s newsletter