Top experts have suggested that countries should aim for self-sufficiency in the agriculture sector.

Speaking at the 11th Bosphorus Summit on Monday, academics, business people and researchers discussed the main problems in agricultural production.

The two-day event is organized by the International Cooperation Platform (ICP) under the theme of Living In an Age of Uncertainty.

It will focus on a range of issues, including agriculture, international cooperation, smart cities, the defense industry, China’s One Belt One Road Initiative, the finance sector’s future, and digitalization.

Mehmet Yaltir, the head of Turkey-based Yaltir Agricultural Products, said agriculture is a vital part of the food chain, noting that a shortage of grains led to the fall of the Soviet Union in the 70s.

He added that Russia, taking a lesson from history, invested in the sector and became a net wealth exporter in recent years.

Touching upon agricultural policies on a global scale, Yaltir said major countries are implementing import restrictions for agricultural products while they propose free trade otherwise.

“This situation obliges that all countries should become self-sufficient in agricultural production,” he said.

In Turkey, he said the main problems are income and the division of agricultural lands.

Cooperatives, contractual production and preventing partition of lands are important for Turkey’s agriculture, he added.

Agricultural education

Atilla Keskin, the vice-rector of Turkey’s Ataturk University, said agriculture is more important than ever.

He said terms such as precision agriculture technologies, robot technologies, artificial intelligence and vertical farming have become prominent in recent times.

On the other side, climate change, desertification, water shortage and dry farming — by using less water — are vital, he noted.

“Agricultural faculties remain incapable of making this transformation,” he added.

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