The milk purchase agreement signed with 258 shepherds within the scope of the first phase of the Mera İzmir project, which was initiated in line with the vision of “Another Agriculture is Possible” of Tunç Soyer, the Mayor of İzmir Metropolitan Municipality, became the lifeblood of the countryside. The producers, who stated that they had to sell the milk at a very low price before the project, now look to the future with hope.
The Izmir Agriculture strategy, which was created with the vision of "Another Agriculture is Possible" of Tunç Soyer, the Mayor of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, is being implemented step by step. The new agricultural ecosystem of İzmir, which is based on fighting against drought by spreading local seeds and local breeds and fighting poverty by supporting small producers, continues to make the producers smile. The Metropolitan Municipality, which signed a milk purchase agreement with 258 shepherds from Bergama and Kınık within the scope of the first phase of the “Mera İzmir” project, determined a price of 8 liras for sheep milk, which is 11 liras, and goat milk, which is 6 liras, 10 liras. For the sheep and goat milk to be procured in April, an advance of 2 million 538 thousand 240 liras was paid to the producer.
“Milk intake will make us very comfortable”
The producer, who receives an advance before selling his milk, is satisfied. 50-year-old Halide Ferhan, who lives in Bergama and has been making her living with sheep and goats for years, said, “Our income is animal husbandry. Until today, we were selling our product, but we were always in debt. We couldn't pay. Milk purchases will make us very comfortable. We would like to thank President Tunç Soyer very much”. Stating that she found the value of the milk they produce thanks to the Metropolitan Municipality, Halide Ferhan said, “Until now, dairy farming was circulating among a few merchants. We had to give our milk cheap. But thanks to the Metropolitan Municipality, milk purchase prices have increased for two years. Our hands also saw money. It was very good. This year, I was also able to buy feed thanks to the Metropolitan Municipality. God bless you. Otherwise, I would not be able to feed my animals this year,” he said.
“We were blown away when we heard about the advance”
Ramazan Çandır, 45, who has been engaged in animal husbandry for 66 years, said that they received the advance deposited by the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality and that this money relieved them. Çandır said, “When we were told by the Metropolitan Municipality that our milk would be purchased for 10 liras and an advance payment would be given, we were blown away. God bless you a thousand times. In recent years, money from livestock kazanwe were helpless. Feed is very expensive, costs are high. I've been giving milk to merchants for 35 years. The trader was buying at a dead price. There were times when we gave milk to merchants for 3 liras, 2 liras… 1 lira,” he said.
“Rural migration will stop”
Bergama Kozak Çamavlu Agricultural Development Cooperative President Mustafa Kocataş also stated that thanks to this project, the producers started to look to the future with hope and said, “People were migrating from the villages because they had no hope for agriculture and animal husbandry. Thanks to this project, migration in the countryside will also stop. Small cattle breeding will begin. Everyone started to look to the future with hope. I think that young people will return to their lands and turn to small cattle breeding. I would like to thank Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer, who paved the way for us with the project.”
Kocataş also said that Armağanlar Village Agricultural Development Cooperative, which entered the liquidation process, will be reactivated with the Mera İzmir project, which was implemented to combat drought and poverty at the same time.
Urban will meet with healthy food
With the “Mera İzmir” project, which was realized as one of the most important links of İzmir Agriculture, it is aimed to reduce water consumption in agriculture, to ensure that the producer is satiated in the place where he was born, and to bring together millions of people living in İzmir with healthy food. Within the scope of the project, a total of 7,5 million liters of sheep's milk, including 5 million liters of sheep's milk and 12,5 million liters of goat's milk, will be purchased. A contractual milk production agreement will be signed with approximately 500 shepherds through cooperatives. In addition, 5 cattle and 300 thousand sheep will be purchased. The municipal company Baysan will also purchase calves and sheep at a price that is five percent more than the market prices.
Meat and milk taken from the producers will be processed at the Milk Processing Facility, where the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality continues its construction works in Bayındır, and the Meat Integrated Facility, which has been renewed and started production in Ödemiş, and will be offered to the use of the people of Izmir.
With the project, producers are required to produce nature-friendly and healthy milk that meets the criteria of Another Agriculture. Instead of silage corn, which consumes excessive water for their animals, milk is purchased from producers who feed only domestic fodder crops. For the milk purchase agreement, it is stipulated that the animals must be grazed on the pasture for a minimum of seven months.