Mayor Soyer shared his vision of "Another Agriculture is Possible" in the Glasgow Municipality Council
Struggle against drought and poverty
Mayor Soyer, speaking at an event organized by Nourish Scotland, International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food), Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), and C40 in collaboration with partners from the Scottish Government and the Glasgow Declaration, said, "In line with our Another Agriculture is Possible vision, we aim to both struggle against poverty and support climate resilient food systems and equal citizenship. With this policy, we focus on two main issues: poverty and drought - a direct reflection of the climate crisis in Izmir. Within the scope of struggling against drought, we prioritize agricultural products that are fed with rain water, do not require irrigation or can grow with low irrigation. We encourage sustainable strategic products under the climate conditions of Izmir. In this way, we aim to reduce the amount of water used in agricultural irrigation by at least 50 percent through the plantation of the right product in the right place, with basin planning. We also support this by promoting modern techniques instead of wild irrigation. In struggling against poverty, we support agriculture as a process that starts from the seed stage and extends to the end consumer and includes all the rings of the agricultural sector. This new policy covers a multidimensional process from planning to product pattern in agriculture, logistics, branding, sales, export and training activities."
Mr. Soyer, emphasizing that that they created a common sales area under the name of People's Grocery, where agricultural development and production cooperatives can market their products and where citizens can access healthy, affordable and fair foods, explained that they bring together villagers and farmers from all over Izmir with the locals of Izmir on a regular basis every week, through local producer markets.
Invitation from Mayor Soyer to Terra Madre Anatolia in 2022 in Izmir
Mr. Soyer said, "Izmir Metropolitan Municipality not only creates market opportunities for farmers, but also places sales guarantees on its agenda. Our most important goal in sales guarantee is to provide export. The fairs organized by İZFAŞ enable producers and farmers to reach buyers from all over the world." Mayor Soyer, making a call to participate in Terra Madre Anatolia, which will be held in İzmir in 2022, said, "We will make it possible for small producers to become direct exporters with our international fairs such as Olivtech, the only olive and olive oil fair of Turkey, Ekology Izmir, the only organic products fair of Turkey, and Terra Madre Anatolia, to be held for the first time in Turkey in 2022. "
"We are growing Anatolian agriculture again"
Mayor Soyer, mentioning at the meeting the demand for strategic products that are produced in Izmir within the scope of the 2050 food system vision and 2030 targets and that are both respecting nature and protecting human health, said, "We produce İzmir agricultural products in accordance with the 'Green Agreement' legislation, which is not only approaching the domestic market but also exporting. For this, we work with important organizations such as İzmir Commodity Exchange, İzmir Chamber of Commerce and Aegean Exporters' Associations and İZFAŞ, our fair company working on this subject in Izmir. ICLEI and Slow Food International, the co-organizers of this dialogue, are our other key partners to implement our strategy. With İzmir Agriculture, we are growing Anatolian agriculture again in the homeland of wheat, sheep, goat, cattle, pears, cherries, grapes, figs, olives and many more productive products."
Declaration promotes joint action mechanisms
The Food and Climate Declaration, which is also approved by Izmir, brings together local government of all types and sizes, from major cities to regions, to encourage joint action mechanisms to renew their commitment to developing sustainable food policies, and to call national governments to include food and agriculture in their climate emergency policies.
The Declaration brings together 100 local governments from six continents, such as London (UK), Paris (France), Washington DC (USA), São Paulo (Brazil), Solo (Indonesia), and Antananarivo (Madagascar).
Who were the speakers?
To the event moderated by Hilal Elver (2014-2020), the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Teresa Jorda I Roura, Minister of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda from Catalonia; Elizabeth Gulugulu Machache, YOUNGO Food and Agriculture Working Group from Zimbabwe and Co-Chair of the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change; T. Vijay Kumar, Vice President of Rythu Sxadhikara Samstha attended as speakers. Ir. R.Anang Noegroho Setyo Moeljono, Director of Food and Agriculture from Indonesia, and Marta Suplicy, International Relations Secretary from Sao Poula, attended online.