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New version of IACS software deployed

A completely unique IACS software in the EU context has been developed from the ground up for Turkey. While designing the software, the expertise and the experience from the EU member states have been combined with an analysis of the local situation and the local requirements in Turkey. This unique web-based software, which includes numerous modules (applications), will be significantly contributing to the fair and transparent distribution of agricultural supports to more than two million farmers in Turkey. Turkish IACS software (TRIACS) is expected to be actively used by more than 10 thousand staff members of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MoAF).

TRIACS consists of a collection of interlinked web-based applications such as GSAA (Geospatial Aid Application), LPIS (Land Parcel Identification System), OTSC (On-the-Spot Controls) and Administrator. Using these modules, MoAF staff will be able to help farmers digitally register their area and animal-based aid applications, manage and update the physical blocks cover the entirety of the surface area of Turkey, prepare risk-based and random samples for OTSC, carry out controls with remote sensing (CwRS) and digitally register their traditional field controls, and calculate payments for each farmer and prepare comprehensive reports.

TRIACS is completely web-based and it has been developed using the latest software practices presently available. Testing of the software has also been successfully completed.

 

Checks by Monitoring added

A new activity has recently been added within the scope of the project that included setting up the checks by monitoring (CbM) system in Turkey. CbM is an alternative method used in the EU for on-the-spot checks with regard to aid applications for area-related aid schemes. In the framework of CbM, a systematic observation and assessment of those eligibility criteria that can be monitored by Copernicus Sentinel is carried out. In addition, appropriate follow-up activities may be carried out where necessary, in order to conclude on the eligibility of aid requested.

Sentinel data is used because it enables tracking agricultural parcels over a period of time that allows successful assessment of the eligibility of the area-based support requested. In summary, the advantages of using Sentinel data are the availability of time series data in frequent intervals, the capability of crop identification, and the free-to-public availability of the data.

As part of the setting up of the CbM system: a dedicated software application (Ground Truth Collector) has been developed; the system was tested also by carrying out field visits to Adana and Tekirdağ provinces; four MoAF staff has been trained; and necessary supporting procedures has been developed. In addition, the output of the CbM data processing is included as a layer group as part of map windows in all IACS software applications.

 

 

 

 

IACS Wiki put online

OTSC and risk analysis guidebooks developed in the framework of the project have been published in the form of a wiki web site.

OTSC and risk analysis guidebooks were prepared by senior experts from Geodetski zavod Celje. A total of 10 guidebooks published cover subjects regarding all aspects of on-the-spot controls and risk analysis, such as design of automated sample selection, general and detailed guidance for classical on-the-spot controls and controls with remote sensing, handling of satellite imagery and analysis of OTSC campaigns.

 

Training of Staff completed

Following the Training of Trainers activity, Training of staff activity of the project was completed with the participation of a total of 3,600 MoAF staff from 81 provinces. The trainings included the theoretical background and computer demonstrations with regard to using the IACS software, with the aim of ensuring the successful continuation of the IACS activities in MoAF. A total of 12 weeks of 5-day trainings were carried out in three parallel sessions in various venues in Antalya and Afyon, over the course of four months between April and July 2019.

The training was delivered by the selected trainers from provinces on delineation of agricultural parcels, LPIS update, on-the-spot controls and risk analysis. Nevertheless, all the trainers were supervised by international and local senior and junior experts from TAT. In addition, evaluation reports were prepared for all supervisions.

 

   

Pilot studies carried out in Beypazarı and Torbali

On-the-spot controls (OTSC) pilot study was implemented in Beypazarı district of Ankara province and Torbalı district of İzmir province. On-site tasks were carried out in Beypazarı from 13 to 18 May and in Torbalı from 27 May to 1 June 2019 with the participation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MoAF) staff from district and provincial directorates as well as staff from the MoAF headquarters in Ankara.

OTSC pilot study was implemented with the participation of the international and local experts from the TAT team. During the implementation of pilot activities in the provinces, MoAF staff from all levels received on-job training regarding OTSC activities that include carrying out field inspections, field module presentations and meeting with farmers.

Finally, the pilot study results were presented in a report prepared after the completion of on-site tasks.

 

 

Training of Trainers completed

Training of Trainers activity of the project was successfully completed in Antalya with the participation of 106 trainers. The 10-day training aimed to provide the trainers with both theoretical background and practical computer skills with regard to using the IACS software.

First week of the training, which included the theoretical part, was held between the dates 18-22 February 2019, while the practical training on computers in parallel sessions in the second week was carried out between the dates 11-15 March 2019. Presentations regarding the theoretical parts of the training were followed by guided and free practice of the previously-prepared training scenarios.

92 participants from provincial directorates and 14 participants from head quarters were trained by our project experts on delineation of agricultural parcels, LPIS update, on-the-spot controls and risk analysis. International senior non-key experts from Geodetski zavod Celje have been actively participating as trainers. Software demonstrations and practical training on computers were led by local experts. Finally, IT support was ensured by local senior non-key expert and the international experts from Sinergise.

In the end of that training, the trainers were entitled to receive a certificate of attendance.

 

 

 

IACS software demonstration carried out

Time is going fast for everyone including our project. In the week of 24/9 – 28/9 we have already finished the first demonstration of the new IACS software. During this week we covered a broad range of topics including the digitising of agricultural parcels, case management and the Geospatial Aid Application. All the participants were very eager to learn more about the new IACS software and its functionality. We also received a lot of feedback about from the participants regarding the software. The majority of these remarks were cosmetic in nature, but some of them were also technical. We have collected all of them and are now in the process of reviewing them.

Below you will find the links to all relevant presentations:

IACS Software Demonstration (functionality)

IACS Software Demonstration (GSAA)

IACS Software Demonstration (ancillary data)

IACS Software Demonstration (OTSC)

Name change announced

Recently the name of the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (MoFAL) was changed to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forest (MoAF). All references to MoFAL have been changed to MoAF. The same applies to the CFCU. The logo has changed but also name. The current name is Republic of Turkey Ministry of Treasury and Finance Central Finance and Contracts Unit.

Questionnaire results received

As mentioned before we conducted a questionnaire to get a better understanding of the agricultural situation (number of holdings, number of actual farmers,etc.) in a number of provinces. But also to get an idea of what will happen when IACS will become operational. The results of this questionnaire can be found in the following file Results Questionnaire. The results presented in this document should not be seen as official figures. It is merely an attempt to get a better understanding of the current situation of the agricultural sector in a number of provinces. If anyone would like to add something to this please feel free to contact us.

 

Questionnaire distributed

Recently we have asked a number of participants who attended a workshop we organised on the 5th and 6th of March to provide us with some figures from their districts (number of farmers, agricultural area available, agricultural area used, etc.). We also asked them to provide us with what they believe are reasons that farmers are not willing to register or are not applying for agricultural subsidies. Soon we will publish the first results of this questionnaire.