The overall objective, towards which the Project will contribute, is to improve the competitiveness of the Southeast Anatolia Region in a sustainable and socially equitable manner. This overall objective reflects the vision of the Competitiveness Agenda for Southeast Anatolia Region, and serves as a reference point for all initiatives (i.e. projects and programmes) to be implemented within the scope of the Agenda.
The purpose of the Project is to increase the competitiveness of the organic agriculture sector in the Region (especially in Şanlıurfa) through activating the regional organic agriculture cluster and improving the local business environment by establishing an innovation and information centre, establishing best practices (pilot and demonstrative actions), and building local capacities, and by promoting the region nationally and internationally.
Southeast Anatolia Region is one of the most socially and economically distressed regions in Turkey. As per the socio-economic development index, issued by the State Planning Organization (current Ministry of Development) in 2003, the Region is the second least developed region in Turkey. A considerable portion of the economic output of the Region is derived from agriculture and trade. Although the region is endowed with favorable factor conditions (land, natural resources etc.), most of the manufacturing activities in the region are concentrated in the lower value-added segments of the manufacturing value chains. These favorable conditions create a significant potential for organic production where higher value added in organic production could serve sustainable development in the Region. However, the potential of the Region have, thus far, not been used efficiently.
The Competitiveness Agenda, which has been developed by UNDP in strong collaboration and cooperation with the GAP RDA within the scope of the EU-funded GAP-GIDEM (Entrepreneurship Support Centers) Project, aims at turning the Southeast Anatolia Region into the “Cradle of Sustainable Civilizations” by integrating the Region to national and international markets with a unique value proposition in areas like renewable energy, organic textile and organic agriculture. In line with the provisions of the Competitiveness Agenda; Organic Agriculture Cluster in Southeast Anatolia Project was developed with a view to mobilize the organic production potentials of the region through applying clustering methodology and supporting improvements in organic agriculture value chain.