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Farmers' Club: Empowering farmers through technology in Turkey

Saturday, 05 December 2015 14:48 Written by 
  • Location(s): Turkey
  • Type(s): Solution
  • Theme(s): Agriculture , Technology
  • SDG(s): 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • Locations in Europe and the CIS: Turkey
  • Types in Europe and the CIS: Solution
  • Themes in Europe and the CIS: Agriculture , Technology
  • SDGs in Europe and the CIS: 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • Locations of ComSec Solutions: Turkey
  • Types of ComSec Solutions: Solution
  • Themes of ComSec Solutions: Agriculture , Technology
  • SDGs of ComSec Solutions: 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Solution: The agriculture sector in Turkey faces structural problems in terms of access to investment, information and technology. Agricultural employment rates are in steady decline and many farmers are operating without critical agricultural information, which significantly decreases the efficiency and the product quality. They also remain isolated from alternative markets, relying on the same archaic intermediary mechanisms to sell their crops.

Goals and Objectives: The Farmers' club project was initiated in 2009 with the aim to bring information technologies accessible and affordable to the majority of farmers to the agricultural production and marketing.

Implementation: The Farmers’ Club is a partnership between TABIT/Tarimsal Pazarlama and Vodafone, which enables famers to enjoy free phone calls between farmers, receive SMS alerts with the government information on new regulations and financial support, weather forecasts and market price quotes linked to locations and types of products, which helps to reach buyers easily.

The solution also offers lower-priced handsets, discounts on farm machinery and an opportunity to advertise their products, which significantly increases efficiency, income generation and sustainability of agricultural production and marketing.

Achievements:

  • 1.3 million farmers provided with services;
  • 81 cities and 12,000 villages all over Turkey have been covered;
  • 25,000 farmers have improved their knowledge and skills of using the mobile technology to access information to improve productivity and marketing skills;
  • The productivity of Turkish farmers increased by an estimated €190 million in 2012/13 alone.

In particular, in the Korkuteli district, where the climate is very harsh for agriculture with cold winters that often freeze harvests and summers with high humidity, resulting in crop loss due to pests and diseases the farmers lacked the knowledge about market conditions and prices. Through informing ways to overcome the frost (using tree warming processes), providinginformation about humidity rates, how to combat pests and diseases and through connecting them to the marketing network, the farmers were able to find a good sale price for their products and increase productivity. This has also played a key role in slowing down the rapid rural to urban migration as farmers whose products have gained value have given up thoughts of moving to cities and started to benefit from the local environment.

The Farmers’ Club was awarded two silver Mercury Awards in New York in 2012, Mediacat Felis Awards of Year‘s Best Media Utilization Award in 2013 and Social Business Co-creation/Special Mention of the Jury in Zermatt Summit in 2014.

Replication: Turkey is the first country where the Vodafone’s agricultural programme was introduced. Since then, the solution was replicated in five other countries: Kenya, Ghana, India, Tanzania and New Zealand.

Budget: The monthly service subscription costs $1 and with the growing number of farmers subscribing for the services, the solution proved to be sustainable.

Contact information of solution provider: 
Tülin Akin 
Telephone: +90 212 909 4321 
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Facebook URL https://www.facebook.com/tabitbilisim

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