Launch of Diyarbakir-Batman-Siirt Rural Development Project

23 Jun 2007

Opening Remarks from

Mahmood A. Ayub

UNDP Resident Representative

Turkey Diyarbakir

 

Mr. Minister,
Distinguished Governors of Batman, Siirt, and Diyarbakir,
Colleagues from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs,
Ladies and Gentlemen

It is a great honor for me to address you today as we mark the launch of a very important rural development project in the provinces of Diyarbakir, Batman and Siirt.  This project signals the value of our long-standing partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs in Turkey. 

This project aims to put the spotlight on a crucial aspect of Turkey’s overall development agenda: namely, rural development. Globally, UNDP is committed to designing and implementing innovative solutions to addressing rural development challenges.  As a global development organization, UNDP is well-positioned to strengthen knowledge-sharing and foster best-practices of partnerships in the area of rural development.  

The Diyarbakir-Batman-Siirt Rural Development Project is committed to a comprehensive and multi-pronged approach to rural development in the region. What does rural development encompass? Broadly, it encompasses such sustainable growth priorities as new technologies; skills training knowledge and capacity of rural communities; improved social infrastructure including improved access to health and education.  

But importantly, and as this project will demonstrate, the relevant issue in rural development  is to enhance the capacities of rural communities to contribute to the process of growth by empowering them to participate, on more equitable terms, in the dynamics of the market economy. 

As such, the overall objective of this project is to identify sustainable and profitable opportunities, and develop strategies to link people in rural communities to these opportunities—thereby connecting rural communities to the more dynamic sectors of the market.   The desired end-result is achieving a sustainable and direct impact in the lives of rural people in terms of assets, income, and the capacity to participate in an increasingly market-oriented rural economy. This requires focusing our attention on economic activities that will generate income, and target agricultural commodities in the region that have potential for growth.   This brings us to the questions of how is this project innovative? 

·        Firstly, it seeks to stimulate economic growth and income diversification on the basis of sound investment analysis that will translate increased production to increased productivity and profitability.  Essentially, this requires analyzing the entire chain of relationships and transactions between the actors of the broader rural economy (farm workers, producers, cooperatives, entrepreneurs from small and medium enterprises, local non-governmental organizations).  As such, the entire process of production from beginning to end is assessed.  Our goal here is to identify local commodities and sub-sectors that have a comparative advantage and developing strategies to expand their potential.

·        Secondly, the project is committed to the principle that project-funded investments and grants need be informed by the priorities and needs of people in the rural communities who have a stake in the outcome of the project.  As such, central to this project’s approach is empowerment of rural communities to participate as partners in their own development and involving them in setting results-oriented development targets based on locally-identified needs and potential for growth. 

·        Thirdly, our approach emphasizes the transformative and cross-sectoral impacts that will be achieved through a strengthened rural economy—one which is more competitive, commercial and demand-driven.  This is why selection of project activities and investments must be based upon a sound assessment of economic efficiency, local production capacities, comparative advantages, and market access—with a view towards raising incomes and improving profitability over the long-term.  As such, a series of initiatives will be undertaken in each province to identify commodities and sub-sectors which can be developed through project-supported responses, investments, and partnerships. 

·        Finally, investments in rural infrastructure and improvement constitute a large share of the total project financing. Targeted investment planning will include considerations of equity, number of beneficiary households; and improving access to public facilities at the village-level. Overall, infrastructure investments will seek to strengthen the rural economy by encouraging incentive and improving viability and stability for future related investments in the region.

The launch of this important project should add to UNDP’s downstream experience in rural areas.  It will thus continue to be a major resource for MARA during the design and implementation phase of upcoming rural development projects in Turkey, including EU and other international financial institutions funds.  UNDP’s experience to date will strengthen future rural development projects through lessons learned at the field level with an enabling and participatory approach, with a view towards up-scaling and knowledge-sharing at all levels.

I am confident that, with the support of our partners present in this room, meaningful impact will be achieved throughout the course of this project.

Let me end by once again thanking the Diyarbakir Governorship for hosting this launch event; and the distinguished participants whose presence signals the importance of this project partnership.

Thank you.

Background on DBSRDP:

Profile of Project area:

The average per capita GDP of the eight poorest provinces, all located in the east or south-east of the country, is less than 30% of the national average. The classification system used by Turkey’s State Planning Organisation (SPO) places Diyarbakir, Batman and Siirt at 63rd, 70th and 73rd respectively out of Turkey’s 81 provinces. This means that Diyarbakir is at the bottom of Category 4 (Underdeveloped) in the SPO system and Batman and Siirt fall into Category 5 (Severely Underdeveloped), which is the lowest category. Provinces in Categories 4 and 5 are designated by the SPO as priority areas for development assistance given their high degree of economic and social disadvantage.

Project Financing Arrangements

Project is financed by IFAD, the Government of Turkey, and UNDP, as well as Project clients and beneficiaries:

IFAD loan amount: USD 24.1 million

UNDP: USD .75 million (international TA, studies, workshops)

Government: USD 4.46 million

Beneficiaries: USD 7.61 million

Total project budget: USD 36.92 million

Profile of Project area:

The average per capita GDP of the eight poorest provinces, all located in the east or south-east of the country, is less than 30% of the national average. The classification system used by Turkey’s State Planning Organisation (SPO) places Diyarbakir, Batman and Siirt at 63rd, 70th and 73rd respectively out of Turkey’s 81 provinces. This means that Diyarbakir is at the bottom of Category 4 (Underdeveloped) in the SPO system and Batman and Siirt fall into Category 5 (Severely Underdeveloped), which is the lowest category. Provinces in Categories 4 and 5 are designated by the SPO as priority areas for development assistance given their high degree of economic and social disadvantage.

Project Financing Arrangements

Project is financed by IFAD, the Government of Turkey, and UNDP, as well as Project clients and beneficiaries:
 
IFAD loan amount: USD 24.1 million
UNDP: USD .75 million (international TA, studies, workshops)
Government: USD 4.46 million
Beneficiaries: USD 7.61 million
Total project budget: USD 36.92 million


Project Components

Component A: Village Improvement Programme

The component is directed to mitigating poverty at the village level and comprises three sub-components: (i) awareness raising; (ii) farmer education and training; and (iii) investments in small-scale social and economic village infrastructure.

Component B: Rural Economic Growth

The Rural Economic Growth Component would comprise of five sub-components: Rural Supply Chain Management; Business Intermediation Services; Contributory Grants; P/DDA Staff Capacity Building; and Rural Finance.

Component C:  Capacity Building for Employment
The component seeks to enhance access to better-paid employment in the emergent local rural economy, supported under Component B ‘Rural Economic Growth’, for surplus and migrant labour in participating Programme villages.