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Gambia signs agriculture deal with Turkey

May 4, 2017, 10:24 AM | Article By: Yaya B. Baldeh reporting from Ankara, Turkey

Friday April 28, 2017 The Gambia government signed agricultural co-operation deal with the republic of Turkey at the just concluded Turkey-Africa first Agriculture Ministers Meeting and Agribusiness Forum held in Antalya, Turkey.

The deal was signed between Turkey and six African countries, namely The Gambia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Rwanda, Congo and Djibouti.

The signed cooperation deal highlights areas in agriculture, livestock and fisheries.

In attendance for The Gambia was Omar Jallow (O.J), minister for agriculture and his delegates.

Speaking at a forum attended by more than 300 delegates, Mr Faruk Celik, Turkey’s Food, Agriculture and Livestock minister said Turkey’s desire to develop agricultural co-operation with African countries date back in 2005.

He added their (Turkey) trade relation with Africa so far has increased from $5 billion to $18 billion. 

Minister Faruk Celik stated that the meeting was meant to increase trade volume in areas like agriculture and chart out the way further to developing relations in other viable potential areas. 

He said: “In terms of agriculture our trade has increased from $418 million to $2.5 billion. Equally, we know that these figures are not sufficient. And we are aware of this.”

He further told the participating African delegation that Africa as a continent holds the world’s one fourth arable land. This, Minister Celik said is virtually impossible to ignore the continent’s potentials in agricultural drive.

He argued that Turkey’s quest to support their African counterparts is to ensure that Africa stands on its own feet. 

We realised that is possible for countries to develop when their agricultural supplies matches the demands, he stated.

In her speech, H.E. Mrs Josefa Leonel Correia SACKO, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission praised Turkey’s vast experience when it comes to agriculture as one of the largest exporters of agricultural commodities.

She emphasised that having listened to several presentations at the meeting she is convinced that they are on a right path, adding that African countries and Turkey work towards a fresh cooperation.

“We’re now witnessing a political will in Turkey. And this is very crucial for the development of agricultural sector and development of African countries,” she stated.