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Brussels, 20 December 2007

IPA Rural Development (IPARD) Programme for Turkey

Country profile:

  • Size : 778.997 km² of which 98% is continental land area
  • Land use: 34% agricultural land, 30% covered by forests, 67% mountains (>800m)
  • Agriculture share of GDP 2006: 9.2%, agricultural employment 2006: 27.3%
  • Population 2006: 73 million
  • Turkey is a major producer of cereals, cotton, tobacco, fruit and vegetables, nuts, sugar beet and sheep and goat meat.
  • Low labour productivity, the agri-food sector with limited exceptions is not in compliance with the relevant Community standards, holdings are generally small (subsistence and semi-subsistence) and divided into many parcels, low level of professional agricultural activity, low level of modernization of agricultural holdings, low investment capacity, low level of education and relatively high levels of illiteracy, large proportion of agricultural workforce is unpaid family labour, relatively young rural population, low level of business activity in rural areas
  • Environment: well preserved and great richness of bio-diversity; soil, water and wind erosion is significant, difficult natural conditions for farming especially in mountainous and forest regions, abandonment of arable land within rural areas.
  • Rural areas: poorly developed infrastructure (water and sewerage systems), number of rural households engaged in agricultural activities: 66.4%, the income of most farms stems from agricultural production, low income and lack of alternative income sources, significant rural out-migration, rich natural and cultural heritage, vibrant traditional craft sector, great potential for rural tourism, multifunctional role of rural areas.

Chosen strategy corresponding to the profile:

The IPARD programme is in line with the Multi-annual Indicative Planning Document (MIPD) 2007 - 2009 as well as the enlargement package and other strategic documents on the pre-accession process of Turkey. The main policy objectives are:

  • to contribute to the modernisation of the agricultural sector (including processing) through targeted investments while at the same time encouraging the improvement of EU acquis related food safety, veterinary, phytosanitary, environmental or other standards as specified in the Enlargement Package,
  • to contribute to the sustainable development of rural areas.

Budget overall and share of EU funding

A financial aid of € 212.001.334 of which € 159.200.000 is EU financed has been allocated to the Rural Development Programme for the Republic of Turkey for the financial period 2007-2009.

Public expenditure
Total public
(in million Euros)
EU contr. Rate %
EU contr.
(in million Euros)
Share %
Axis I – Improving market efficiency and implementation of Community standards
Axis II* - Preparatory actions for implementation of the agri-environmental measures and local development strategies
Axis III – Development of rural economy
Measure 9 : Technical assistance


* Axis II measures will be developed in detail subsequent to a capacity-building process and will be presented to the Rural Development Committee for adoption at a later stage

Overall aims of IPARD programme in the country

The main strategic objectives are:

  • Modernisation of the agricultural production and processing sectors through increasing efficiency and competitiveness and implementation of Community standards
  • Capacity-building and preparatory actions for the implementation of agri-environmental measures and the LEADER method
  • Development and diversification of the rural economy, increase of quality of life and attractiveness of the rural areas, counteracting rural out-migration

Axis 1- Improving market efficiency and implementing Community standards

Total public aid 2007 - 2009: € 154.954.667 million (73%)

Main priorities are: to improve the sustainability and overall performance of agricultural holdings in the production of primary agricultural products while at the same time upgrading to Community standards, to improve the overall performance and competitiveness of the food processing industry while upgrading to Community standards, to improve and strengthen the role of producer groups in the agricultural markets.

Under Axis 1, three measures will be implemented:

  • Investment in agricultural holdings to restructure and to upgrade to Community standards (40% of the public aid under Axis 1),
  • Investment in processing and marketing of agricultural and fishery products to restructure and upgrade to Community standards (28% of the public aid under Axis 1)
  • Support for the setting up of producer groups (5% of the public aid under Axis 1).

Support granted towards the achievement of these objectives will mainly be concentrated on sectors where the related acquis communautaire and the Community standards to implement are particularly comprehensive and demanding like in the dairy, meat and fishery sector as well as partly in the fruit and vegetable sector. All investments must comply with Community standards with a special emphasis on milk hygiene and quality for the dairy sector as well as manure/waste storage for the dairy, meat and fishery sectors.

Axis 2- Preparatory actions for the implementation of agri-environmental measures and LEADER

The Programme contains an outline of preparatory actions planned for the implementation of agri-environmental measures (erosion control, water resource conservation, biodiversity) as well as for the LEADER method (acquisition of skills, implementation of local development strategies, running costs for approved Local Action Groups as well as co-operation projects between those groups). The measures will be developed in detail and submitted to the Rural Development Committee for adoption after a capacity-building process including institution-building and training during the period 2010 - 2013.

Axis 3- Development of the rural economy:

Total public aid 2007 - 2009: € 53.066.667 million (25%)

The main priorities are to contribute to the development of the rural economy, diversify on-farm and off-farm activities, to support the formation of micro enterprises in order to create new jobs as well as to maintain the existing jobs in rural areas.

Under Axis 3 the following measures will be implemented:

  • Diversification and development of rural economic activities

Support will be provided to:

  • Diversification and development of on-farm activities (bee keeping and honey production, medicinal and aromatic plants, ornamental plants production)
  • Local product and micro enterprise development
  • Rural tourism
  • Aquaculture

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