The first project following the signing of the protocol on 23rd June between the Unions of Municipalities of Türkiye and Norther Cyprus is being implemented.
The aim of the protocol is to develop cooperation between the municipalities. Vice President of Türkiye, Fuat Oktay, President of the Union of Municipalities of Türkiye, Fatma Şahin and many local municipality representatives participated at the signing.
The protocol is being financed by the Turkish Union of Municipalities to improve the service capacity of local municipalities by supporting sustainable developments through various projects.
A press conference was held on Tuesday 26th July at the Girne Municipality New Service Building reporting on the agreement signed by Gaziantep Metropolitan and Girne Municipalities to develop olive cultivation. The project has a budget of approximately 1 million 110 thousand Turkish Lira.
Girne Mayor Nidai Güngördü stressed that the protocol signed between the two Unions had carried the cooperation between them to a significantly high point. He expressed his belief that signing the project with Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality would be taking a very important step in olive cultivation in the country. He noted that their aim with the project was to increase and diversify the olive potential of the country by employing scientific methods, adding more economic values to the tree, its fruit and products while encouraging its cultivation.
Whereas the number of olive trees had been 1.5 millions in 1974, today they had reduced to about 600 thousand due to urbanisation. However, sensitivities on this matter had improved since the launch of the Olive Festival 20 years ago.
With this new project, the municipality would be able to contribute to the efforts of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry thus improving olive production and its potential for the country. They would work to grow olive trees suitable for the local climate and soil conditions and obtain the most efficient product thus restoring the former importance of olives to the economy of the country.
Expressing his gratitude to Fatma Şahin, the President of the Union of Municipalities of Türkiye, Güngördü said with the 1 million 110 thousand TL funds provided for the project they would distribute some 50 thousand olive tree saplings. Olive groves would be established, women’s employment supported, and training organised for olive cultivation. He said the Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality had also promised support for agriculture mechanisation.
The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Emirali Deveci said that they were working for the development, promotion and economic appreciation of agriculture and agricultural products in the country. They would wholehearted support the olive cultivation project of the two municipalities.
The branch manager from Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality Agricultural Services Department, Yusuf Yılmaz said they would set a new road map as part of the mutual project to meet the needs of cultivating olive groves and growing trees suitable for the climate and soil characteristics of Northern Cyprus. They would work to establish olive groves with local varieties, support women’s employment and organise olive cultivation training. They were aiming at obtaining the highest possible yields, preventing economic losses, and giving support to introduce olives from Girne and the surrounds to national and international markets. Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality would also provide mechanisation support to local farmers through Girne Municipality. They would donate pruning shears, pruning saws, olive transport crates, sprayers, and olive harvesting machines to the region. With such agricultural technology applications, the yield and quality would be increased and enhance the value of olives produced.
Source (Turkish): Girne Municipality