'Turkey aims 22.9M hectares of forestland by 2020-end'
Country sets agricultural policies based on food security, Erdogan says
Turkey's forestlands will reach 22.9 million hectares by the end of 2020, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.
The country makes serious investments to expand the forestry areas and growing stocks, improve biodiversity and protect the environment, Erdogan said during his speech at the 3rd Agriculture and Forestry Council meeting.
Reminding the massive forestation campaign to plant 11 million saplings on Nov. 11 at 11.11 a.m. local time (0811GMT), Erdogan said that this will continue.
Turkey will not tolerate steps that create security risks, Erdogan said, adding that the country's agricultural policies are made based on food security.
"Dependence on imports in basic agricultural products is as dangerous as external dependence in the defense industry," Erdogan said.
The president underlined that the agricultural production is supported as a strategic sector.
More than half of Agriculture and Forestry Ministry's budget is allocated to agricultural supports, up by nearly 37% year-on-year, Erdogan said.
He added that the government will enact a water law to manage water resources effectively.
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