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We have interviewed Rahmi Çakarız, the President of the Association of BASUSAD, whose members will be participating at the 20th edition of Growtech in Antalya from 24th-27th November 2021. During our interview, we discussed the most pressing subjects impacting the irrigation sector. We hope you enjoy reading our conversation on the future of pressurised irrigation systems and developments for 2021.
Hello, Mr Çakarız, firstly could you tell us about BASUSAD and its operations and purpose?;
BASUSAD was established in 2008 to raise awareness among the farming community of the importance of the economical use of water in irrigation, to increase public awareness, and to contribute to the Turkish economy by extending the use of Pressurized Irrigation Systems throughout the country. The manufacturers in our association represent approximately 80% of the sector, and export to more than 45 countries. Our association consists of approximately 30 national and international companies that are the manufacturers of;
• Drip Irrigation Systems
• Sprinkler Irrigation Systems
• Center Pivot and Linear Irrigation Systems
• Drum Irrigation Systems
• Filtering and Fertilization Systems
• Automation and Control Units
• Valves, Fittings and Irrigation System Equipment
Are there any investment policies on the agenda regarding the irrigation systems? Could you tell us a little about public investments?
As recognised again by the Covid-19 epidemic we are currently facing, food safety and accessibility is of strategical importance for a country. You may not always have access to food of adequate quantity if you are not a manufacturer, even if you are the wealthiest country in the world. Plant production is essential for food security, as water is essential for plant production. Two-thirds of plant production in Turkey today is exercised in cultivated areas. Pressurised Irrigation Systems are used in a quarter of the areas where farms are irrigated. Alongside this, production is made via surface irrigation (traditional flood irrigation) that consumes water twice as much as the Pressurized Irrigation System.
The impact of global warming and an increasing global population is rapidly increasing pressure on the need for freshwater bodies. Under such
circumstances, the government has acknowledged the importance of Pressurized Irrigation Systems that consume fewer resources in plant production; leading to more revenue and productivity.
Policies for extension of the use of the Pressurized Irrigation Systems have been established in both the 11th Development Plan and 3rd Agriculture Council. Within this framework, it is aimed to use Pressurized Irrigation Systems for irrigation of new farming areas of 2,000,000 ha by 2023.
How has the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic impacted the sector?
Within the scope of the economic measures taken by the Government in Turkey after the pandemic we are facing; the inactive agricultural lands have
been put in use for plant production, the investments for pressurised irrigation infrastructure has been accelerated, and finally, a protocol has
been concluded with DSI (State Hydraulic Works) and TOKİ (Housing Development Administration of Turkey).
Within this scope, 25 infrastructure projects have been put into practice in various cities in Turkey, opening an area of 300,000 ha to pressurised irrigation. The most important input for increasing productivity in plant production today, when agriculture and food sectors have gained strategical importance is modern irrigation technologies.
Modern irrigated farming can lead to a 6x in revenues obtained from unit area. Based on these facts, the irrigation sector has become increasingly important in the new economic order that is currently forming.
Finally, could you tell us the plans and activities of BASUSAD for 2020 in line with the current developments?
As a Pressurized Irrigation Industrialists Association, we are continuing with our operations in close cooperation with the public bodies, academies and
farmers in line with these policies, objectives and developments.
After our workshop organised in 2018 and the Irrigation Summit in 2019, we are participating in Growtech agricultural exhibition. We have a reserved area with all our members in BASUSAD who will be exhibiting their latest products and systems for modern irrigation technologies.
We will also discuss the strategic importance of pressurised irrigation systems in food safety and accessibility. This is the hottest topic of almost every country after the Covid-19 epidemic and will be a key talking point at Growtech for industry stakeholders. We will be contributing towards new decisions and incentives that might be put forward during the conferences at the exhibition.
We would like to thank Mr Cakariz for the information provided. We are looking forward to seeing BASUSAD Association and all the stakeholders of the sector in Antalya on 24th – 27th of November 2021 at Growtech.