NATIONAL RURAL NETWORK FESTIVAL (UKAFEST)
The Festival for Local Action Groups within the scope of the National Rural Network (UKAFEST) was organized by the IPARD Managing Authority of the General Directorate of Agricultural Reform on September 11-12, 2023 at the Lodumlu Campus of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
General Director of Agricultural Reform, Mr. Osman YILDIZ, Phd. opened the festival with the participation of the Head of Section of the European Union Delegation to Türkiye, Ms. Virve VIMPARI, general directors of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, relevant departments, representatives from institutions and organizations, representatives of the NRN steering committee, NRN stakeholders and representatives of 100 local action groups.
in his opening remarks, Mr. YILDIZ emphasized the importance of the “National Rural Network’ for our country. ‘’With the support of our Ministry, 100 Local Action Associations have been established in 26 cities and continue their activities today. Considering the potential of traditional handicrafts, local products, medicinal and aromatic plants of the Anatolian lands, great responsibility falls on all LAG areas. The short supply value chain project that we are carrying out for LAGs within the scope of the national rural network is of great importance. In LAG areas, products that stand out in 3 sectors and are important for marketing are determined in a participatory manner. Our LAG areas contribute to production planning through a participatory approach. We see that development in rural areas continues in solidarity and unity, and we witness the accumulation and potential of our rural areas together. We are writing “a story of change in the rural areas”, which aims to establish stronger local, regional and national rural development ties’
A total of 43 local action groups had their stands at the festival, which continued for 2 days, and introduced their regions and products to the participants. The "Segmenler" show was performed by Ankara Ayaş LAG.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Mr. Prof. Dr. Ahmet GÜMEN also visited the stands within the scope of his visit to UKAFEST. At the same time, local artists from the regions of local action groups performed colorful live shows with local musical instruments piano, bağlama, cümbüş, tambourine, violin at the festival. The 1-day program has ended with a family photo.
On the second day of the festival, product promotion continued at the stands. In the afternoon, the sector evaluation meeting started with the opening remarks by Ms. Özge TEKIN, Head of the Managing Authority Department. The current situation in the project related to medicinal aromatic plants, local products and traditional handicrafts, sector assessments for production planning were evaluated with the interactive participation of project experts and LAGs.