Ankara, 16 April 2024 – There is potential for IFAD and the Government of Türkiye to further leverage their strategic partnership in order to promote engagement on policy matters and effective knowledge management for greater scaling up of results favourable to smallholder farming. Dr Kouessi Maximin Kodjo, Lead Evaluation Officer at the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) presented this recommendation during the national workshop organized to discuss the Türkiye Country Strategy and Programme Evaluation (CSPE) implemented in 2023. The event took place in Ankara, on 16 April 2024. Dr Kodjo explained that it is necessary that IFAD identifies the right entry points to engage in policy debates aligned with the country context of well-developed commercial agriculture, and noted that key strategic partners at the central and provincial levels should widen the space for IFAD to do this.

IFAD should strengthen the country programme knowledge management framework for improved performance in generating relevant knowledge and lessons, with the active involvement of government stakeholders. Organising debates and discussions at strategic and operational levels on knowledge will be critical for the identification of options for scaling up positive results, as well as their incorporation in policy and strategic decisions”, highlighted IOE’s Lead Evaluation Officer.


This recommendation was put forth in response to the fact that the CSPE found no evidence of concrete policy results or changes due to IFAD-supported operations over the evaluated period. In addition, there was limited evidence of the extent to which the effort to deliver knowledge products through documentation and dissemination of best practices of IFAD-supported projects was converted into lessons learned and used for informed decision-making.

Together, we need to identify concrete entry points and opportunities for even better policy engagement going forward. We also need to actively convert the knowledge gained through ongoing investments into lessons used for informed decision-making,” stated Dr Donal Brown, Associate Vice-President of IFAD’s Programme Management Department.

Co-organized by the Government of Türkiye and IOE, in collaboration with IFAD’s Near East, North Africa, Europe, and Central Asia Division (NEN) Division, the on-line virtual workshop brought together a wealth of high-level attendants, including Dr Ahmet BAĞCI Deputy Minister, Ministry in charge of Agriculture, and Mr. Osman YILDIZ, Director General of Agricultural Reform. Over 65 participants joined the event, representing the government of Türkiye from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry; the Ministry of Treasury and Finance; and the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change. A host of international development partners also attended, along with civil society organizations, private sector partners and representatives of UN organisations and agencies. Dr Brown and Dina Saleh, Regional Director of IFAD’s Near East, North Africa and Europe Division, represented the Fund’s Senior Management. Dr Indran A. Naidoo, IOE Director, represented IOE alongside Dr Kodjo.


The CSPE covered the 2016 IFAD country strategic opportunities programme and four projects implemented between 2015 and 2022. The total estimated cost of the projects covered by the CSPE amounts to US$ 233.2 million, including US$ 136.6 million financed by IFAD, and USD 96.6 million from the Government of Türkiye, domestic bank co-financiers, and beneficiaries.

During the workshop, participants discussed the main findings, recommendations and issues emerging from the CSPE. The meeting also provided an opportunity to focus on the opportunities and challenges of the partnership between IFAD and the Government in the near future, and discuss strategic priorities for IFAD's upcoming programme.

Overall, the programme supported by IFAD contributed to enhancing the resilience of smallholders’ social livelihoods and ecosystems, in remote mountainous areas, thanks to interventions that aimed to increase the productivity and production of crops and livestock, diversify the income sources, and strengthen the sustainable management of natural production assets”, affirmed Dr Naidoo.

The IFAD-supported programme contributed to increased agricultural productivity and production in both crop and animal production systems, as well as more resilient agricultural ecosystems in upland areas. Support for economic diversification and livestock production helped improve smallholder incomes. IFAD’s efforts also contributed to improving the resilience of beneficiary households to climate shocks, by strengthening their absorptive and adaptive capacities and enhancing sustainable natural resource management. Numerous technologies, practices, and processes were introduced and promoted by the programme, which were new to the projects’ beneficiaries. These include improved fodder crops, shepherd shelters, juice extractors, dairy cattle milking machines and seed drillers. With regard to scaling-up of results, evaluative evidence suggests several positive achievements through governmental institutions at the provincial level.

These successes notwithstanding, areas for improvement remain. Value chain development activities for processing and marketing of agricultural products, and for access of poor farmers to markets led to modest results, because numerous actions reached better-off farmers, and effective partnerships with strong private actors for the access to markets of smallholder farmers have not yet occurred. Furthermore, the programme made little effort to strengthen grassroots organizations and enable them to take on responsibilities for the management of rehabilitated rangelands. This was because the development of social bonding and bridging capital was not embedded explicitly within the programme strategy, and this gap can be attributable to the lack of a resilience framework.

Looking ahead, the CSPE recommends further prioritizing the resilience of rural livelihoods in the mountain areas of Türkiye in an integrated manner, by deploying innovative approaches that build on the existing country potentials in value-chain segments. It also suggests improving the inclusiveness of the country programme towards poor and vulnerable rural women, as well as young men and young women, and strengthening the programmatic approach in the delivery of IFAD’s support, and fostering the learning culture.

Türkiye has a population of 84.78 million people, and currently hosts an estimated number of 3.5 million refugees as of February 2023. It is an upper middle-income country and has the 19th largest economy in the world. As of 2022, it has the largest agricultural economy in Europe, according to OECD data. The country faces agricultural challenges, among which are land fragmentation, a lack of contemporary technologies and decision-making tools for efficient cropping patterns in remote areas, and low animal feeding levels resulting in non-optimal productivity due to expensive feed inputs.


For further information, please contact Dr Alexander Voccia [here]



  • To access the opening statement by Dr Naidoo, please click here.
  • To access the closing statement by Dr Naidoo, please click here.
  • To access the presentation by Dr Kodjo, please click here.
  • To access the Türkiye CSPE Executive Summary, please click here.
  • To access the Türkiye CSPE infographic, please click here.



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