11 July 2007, Ankara – FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf today conferred FAO’s highest award, the Agricola Medal, on Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in recognition of his
contribution to agricultural and social development in Turkey.
The ceremony took place at FAO’s new Subregional Office for Central Asia which the Director-General, together with Prime Minister Erdogan, formally inaugurated today. The Office was set up last
year as part of FAO’s ongoing decentralization policy, with Turkey providing premises and contributing staff and funding.
“Please accept this Agricola Medal as a token of FAO’s and my personal esteem and respect for all your admirable efforts on behalf of your country’s agriculture and food security,” Dr Diouf
told the Premier.
Major reform programme
Under Prime Minister Erdogan, Turkey has launched a major Agricultural Reform Project which aims to provide direct incentives to farmers to significantly increase production and exports and
raise rural incomes and food security.
Dr Diouf noted that Turkey is one of the few emerging countries directly participating in food aid operations, to which it has donated millions of dollars through the World Food Programme over
the past few years.
Previous recipients of the Agricola Medal include King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, French President Jacques Chirac, Chinese President Jiang Zemin, Pope John Paul II, President Hosni Mubarak
of Egypt, Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar, and President Johannes Rau of Germany.
Central Asia Subregional Office
The newly inaugurated Subregional Office for Central Asia offers agricultural policy and technical expertise to seven countries – Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan,
Turkey and Uzbekistan.
The Office fields a multi-disciplinary team of seven FAO experts while Turkey will assign seven junior professional staff to be seconded on a two-year rolling basis to work alongside
Dr Diouf also took part in an international conference on “Making Globalization Work for the Least Developed Countries”. The three-day meeting, attended by more than 20 ministers from
LDCs, senior UN figures, academics and experts, discussed the challenges and opportunities presented by globalization to the world’s poorest nations.