FAO in Türkiye

Final meeting of the regional project on food safety

Photo: © FAO/Nezih Tavlas

Ankara – Food systems are vital for the production of sufficient reliable food to feed the global population. Unreliable food poses a significant global threat to human health and economies. According to estimates by the World Health Organization, 600 million people contract foodborne diseases annually, and 420 000 die as a result.


Overcoming this challenge requires an understanding of the systemic connections that link the health of people, animals, plants, the environment and the economy. Effective food safety and quality control systems are a crucial part of this effort, not only for protecting human health but also for enhancing economic development and improving livelihoods by facilitating access to broader markets.


To help ensure the availability of sufficient reliable food, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations launched a regional project entitled “Improving national food safety systems and regional cooperation”. The aim of the project was to strengthen food safety controls in five countries: Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Tajikistan and Türkiye.


The project has provided a constructive environment to focus on priority risks in terms of food safety for the public and private sectors in all five beneficiary countries. As a result of these efforts, the countries involved have taken significant steps towards strengthening official food safety controls and risk communication.


At the final project workshop hosted by FAO in Ankara on 24-25 April 2024, participants from Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Tajikistan and Türkiye, along with remote experts and representatives, discussed the progress made in the project and explored prospects for food safety in the region.


The workshop also addressed the latest developments in food safety in Europe and Central Asia, including enhancing the efficiency of official food control systems, improving food control procedures through digitalization, supporting food safety in small food businesses, and developing capacities for emergency preparedness and communication in food safety.


About the FAO-Türkiye Partnership Programmes

The objectives of the FAO-Türkiye Partnership Programmes are to provide support to ensure food security, rural poverty reduction and sustainable forest management; combat desertification; and preserve ecosystems in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Türkiye, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and other countries of mutual interest. 

Established in 2007, the first phase of the FAO-Türkiye Partnership Programme on Food and Agriculture (FTPP) has benefited from trust fund contributions totalling USD 10 million, financed by the Government of Türkiye and represented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. During the first phase of the programme, 28 projects were implemented in 16 countries between 2009 and 2015. 

In 2014, Türkiye and FAO commenced the second phase of the FTPP along with the first phase of the FAO-Türkiye Forestry Partnership Programme (FTFP) with additional funding of USD 20 million, bringing Türkiye’s total contribution to USD 30 million.