Financial Lifeline Thrown to Turkish Agriculture After Devastating Earthquakes

The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) is extending a helping hand to Türkiye's agricultural sector, reeling from the aftermath of February's devastating earthquakes. A US$50 million loan aims to bolster food production, with a specific focus on the 11 cities worst hit by the tremors.

The funds will be channeled through the Development and Investment Bank of Türkiye (TKYB), which will then distribute them to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the affected regions. This targeted approach aims to not only revitalize agricultural production but also build resilience within the sector for the future.

"The agricultural sector is a cornerstone of Türkiye's economy, providing a significant chunk of jobs and driving trade," said OFID President Abdulhamid Alkhalifa. "We are confident that by extending this financing through TKYB, we can contribute to the long-term sustainability of agriculture and empower agribusinesses in the earthquake-stricken provinces. OFID remains committed to supporting Türkiye's journey towards sustainable development."

The agreement between OFID and TKYB marks a significant first for both institutions. İbrahim Öztop, General Manager of TKYB, highlighted the importance of this partnership: "This agreement is a landmark moment, not just for our bank but for Türkiye as a whole. It strengthens our commitment to fostering sustainable development within the country's agricultural and food production sectors."

The loan comes at a critical juncture for Türkiye. The earthquakes not only caused widespread infrastructure damage but also disrupted agricultural activities. Farmers lost crops, livestock, and vital equipment, jeopardizing the upcoming harvest and impacting food security.

OFID's intervention is expected to provide much-needed relief by enabling farmers to purchase essential supplies, repair damaged equipment, and restart production. The loan will also play a crucial role in bolstering food security within the affected regions, ensuring communities have access to safe and nutritious food.

The financial boost is also expected to have a long-term impact. By supporting SMEs, OFID is fostering a more robust and resilient agricultural sector. The loan can be used to invest in new technologies, improve farming practices, and create a more sustainable food production system. This, in turn, will contribute to Türkiye's overall economic recovery and strengthen its capacity to withstand future crises.

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