“The future of agriculture is in science, not in the field”

The 2nd International Molecular Plant Protection Congress (IMPPC2023), which started on May 16 at the Agricultural Innovation, Training and Experience Center FARM in Bursa Orhangazi, where HEKTAŞ hosts an international event where the future of sustainable agriculture will be discussed, will be held until the 18th of the month. will continue until OYAK Food, Agriculture and Livestock Sector Group President and HEKTAŞ Chairman of the Board M. Levent Ortakçıer, as the host of the congress, opened the four-day event, in which 81 scientists from 20 countries participated as invited speakers. The opening lecture of the congress was given by the US biology professor Craig Mello, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2006 for his work on RNA interaction.

Ortakçıer: “HEKTAŞ leads agriculture”

Levent Ortakçıer, who made the opening speech of the congress, emphasized that HEKTAŞ has become one of the most important agricultural companies of Turkey opening to the world, with the strategic importance that OYAK General Manager Süleyman Savaş Erdem places on sustainable agriculture and food.

Ortakçıer said, “Seven years ago, we set out with our dreams. We are working to develop Turkish agriculture and bring it to a level that will set an example for the global agriculture sector. We are happy and proud to host such an important event that concerns the future of the agricultural sector. Operating in the field of food, agriculture and livestock, HEKTAŞ has carried out exemplary studies on sustainable agriculture and food safety. Today, as HEKTAŞ, our main philosophy is to tell our farmers the right product with the right application. We stand by both the producer and the consumer with our innovative practices that integrate technology into production. Expanding its scale with its investments in strategic areas such as plant nutrition, animal health and seeds, HEKTAŞ is leading agriculture as a global company.”

“What awaits us when the world population reaches 10 billion”

According to the latest Agricultural Outlook Report published by OECD and FAO, Ortakçıer stated that it is predicted that food consumption will increase by 1.4 percent in the next 10 years due to population growth, while food production will be around 1.1 percent. If effective measures are not taken, the difference between food production and consumption in the world will grow to the detriment of humanity. There are 13 billion hectares of land in the world.

5 billion of this is arable. But only 1.5 billion hectares of land can be cultivated, 3.5 billion hectares of land cannot be cultivated. Agriculture in 1.5 billion areas is also decreasing day by day.

While the population was 3 billion, there were 1.5 billion hectares of arable land. And this area is getting smaller and smaller. According to projections, agricultural production areas are expected to decrease to 1.3 billion hectares in the coming years.

In this case, what awaits us when the world population reaches 10 billion? We should all focus on this, and develop scientific and sustainable solutions in this direction. Sustainable projects are essential to protect nature. We must protect the quality of the land. We should focus on biological studies. We will share the results of this congress with all our stakeholders.”

prof. Soil: “The insects that own the world”

Undertaking the chairmanship of the organizing committee of the congress, Prof. Dr. Umut Toprak noted that the concept of plant protection has changed and that nowadays classical strategies are replaced by innovative, specific, sustainable and environmentally friendly molecular strategies. Toprak noted that the latest developments in the field of innovative plant protection, from dsRNA to peptide-based insecticides, from microbial pesticides to new biomolecules, will be discussed in line with the congress theme of ‘innovations in plant protection’. Toprak underlined that the information to be shared by scientists participating in the Molecular Plant Protection Congress will be an important source for the literature.

Concluding his words with a quote from the famous entomologist Thomas Eisner, Prof. Toprak said, “Insects will not inherit the world, they already own the world. The molecular plant protection philosophy is based on sustainable agriculture, environmentally friendly pest, disease and weed control strategies. This congress is a platform established for this,” he said.

Terzioğlu: “We are working for sustainable productivity”

HEKTAŞ General Manager Hakkı Zafer Terzioğlu, on the other hand, said in his speech that they have made Turkish farmers aware of how they can use resources more efficiently and increase their productivity in crops with the sustainable agricultural practices they have developed. Terzioğlu said, “As HEKTAŞ, we are undertaking pioneering works that will ensure sustainable productivity in agriculture. We will record the results that will inspire the agriculture of the future with the congress we organized in our facility, which is an example to the world. We will work to fulfill our duty in order to spread sustainable agricultural practices in the world of tomorrow.”

prof. Mello: “New developments are exciting”

Nobel Prize-winning Professor Craig Mello, who gave the opening lecture of the congress, stated that in recent years, there have been exciting important developments that will open new horizons in agriculture, especially in the field of plant protection. Mello said “More efficient agriculture is possible” and emphasized that the 2nd International Molecular Plant Protection Congress is one of the most important platforms to introduce these developments to agricultural stakeholders. Expressing that the participants found it important that HEKTAŞ, hosting the event, experience the Agricultural Innovation, Training and Experience Center FARM, Mello added that he wholeheartedly believes that the center will become one of the world’s leading institutions in the field of agricultural technologies.

Innovative farming practices

Within the scope of the event organized by HEKTAŞ in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Ankara University, 81 international scientists who are experts in molecular entomology, molecular plant pathology and molecular weed science will discuss the future of agriculture in the world within the scope of innovative agricultural practices in the sessions to be held for four days. A total of 167 oral and 53 poster presentations will be held at the congress, with 40 local and international sector stakeholders taking part in the stands they set up in the exhibition area.

“HEKTAŞ gives direction to Agriculture 5.0”

OYAK General Manager Süleyman Savaş Erdem said that they are proud to host an international event at FARM, the Agricultural Innovation, Training and Experience Center that HEKTAŞ brought to Turkey. Pointing out that the awareness of sustainable agriculture and food safety has increased in the world in recent years, Erdem said, “With the work we started by repositioning HEKTAŞ, we brought a company that pioneered and implemented innovative practices in agriculture to our country. HEKTAŞ, which has signed the ‘Agriculture 4.0’ transformation with the approach we have developed in the last seven years and our strategic moves in this direction, gives direction to ‘Agriculture 5.0’ at the point it has reached today. The future of agriculture is determined not only in the fields but also in the R&D centers with technology and science. With HEKTAŞ, we are preparing not only today’s but also future projects and farmers. We believe that in the congress we host, scientists who are experts in their fields will reorient plant protection strategies. This congress will be a milestone regarding innovation and R&D studies in plant protection.”

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