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  • Author or Editor: Burhan Ozkan x
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In 2011, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (New Brunswick, NJ, USA) and Akdeniz University (Antalya, Turkey) conducted a survey to identify needs, interests, and capacities of Turkish women farmers. We interviewed extension educators and female farmers in three villages and used the results to develop a pilot, 28-hour course to train 40 small-scale citrus (Citrus sp.) and greenhouse producers from Kumluca, Turkey. Training included computer literacy, citrus and greenhouse production, and business management. The municipalities of Elmali, Duzce, Korkuteli, and Boztepe, Turkey, duplicated the successful pilot program within the next 2 years. To expand the training to more women farmers, we partnered with colleagues in Germany, Spain, and Malta to develop Empowering Women Farmers with Agricultural Business Management Training (EMWOFA), which had a multiplier effect by training educators who then trained women farmers to improve their business skills. The outputs of EMWOFA were a training manual for educators, a workbook for the women farmers, and e-learning videos in English, Turkish, Spanish, German, and Maltese.

Open Access

The aim of this study was to identify existing gender roles in greenhouse vegetable production in the Antalya Province of Turkey. For this purpose, we conducted face-to-face interviews with the owners of 50 vegetable-producing greenhouses to understand the dominant household structures, activity profiles, information sources, training needs, access to resources, control over resources, and intrahousehold income stream. Activity profiles reflected the hours per day men and women spent on specific greenhouse production and household tasks. We observed access to and control of production resources as well as intrahousehold income streams for the two genders. Compared with men, women had higher illiteracy rates and lower levels of education. They also had overall heavier workloads despite having similar workloads in the greenhouse (productive activities), the difference resulting from household (reproductive activities) which were carried out mainly by women. Women received most agricultural information from neighbors, while men obtained most information from chemical salespeople. Notably, men received some information from the agricultural extension service, but women did not. Women also had less access to and control over productive resources. Furthermore, the intrahousehold income streams in the selected households benefited men more than women. In this study, we compared differences among three independent demographic variables: the age of producers, the level of education of the producers, and years of experience farming against women’s ability to prepare the family budget, spend money without asking her spouse, purchase of agricultural inputs, and select which vegetables to produce. Statistically significant links were found between women’s age and ability to manage the family budget, education level and ability to make purchase decisions, and years of production experience and ability to select which vegetables to purchase. The results of this study provide evidence for an unequal social structure and show that efforts should be made to increase women’s access to and control of production resources, including information from the extension service.

Free access

Turkish cut-flower exports grew from about $100,000 in 1985 to $11 million in 1995 (not adjusted for inflation). Since this is a growing industry in Turkey, we wanted to examine the production structure and main problems of export-oriented contract growers. We surveyed 33 cut-flower export growers and 30 contract growers between May and July 1997. We conducted the survey in the Antalya province, which is the center of the export-oriented cut-flower production in Turkey. The results indicate that cut-flower companies were not highly mechanized, but did use computerized accounting systems. Transportation of cut flowers to foreign markets was the largest expense item in the cut-flower industry. Despite a high rate of unemployment, cut-flower companies face difficulties in obtaining and keeping qualified employees. Managers tended not to use specific performance indicators such as sales per employee or sales per square foot relevant to the cut-flower industry. The most common method for arranging cut-flower export sales was personal contact with the importers. Contracts between firms which grew and exported flowers and smaller contract growers were common, but some problems existed concerning quality and financial obligations. Growers are using fewer commission contracts and are instead opting to sell on a fixed-price basis. The main concerns raised by managers were related to increased competition, price-cutting, transportation expenses for export, training, and labor supply.

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In the past decade, organic production has become a growing segment of the healthy food market. Organic farming is expanding gradually in many countries, and consumption of organic products is gaining a huge importance in the developed countries, such as the U.S., countries in the European Union (EU), Canada, and Japan. The increase of domestic market demand in developed countries and export potential for developing countries has stimulated organic agricultural production. In this report, we briefly examine the development of the world organic market and examine regulations with regard to production and certification. We also provide a detailed review of the current structure of organic food production and marketing in Turkey, a developing country with advantages to increase organic production. The overall picture of organic products in Turkey seems very positive. The size of the domestic market for organic products is estimated to be $3 to $5 million, with annual growth projected to be about 50% for the next 5 years. Eighty percent of current production in Turkey is export-oriented. The EU has been the main export destination. The positive market outlook will no doubt create a renewed interest in organic products among Turkish farmers and policy makers.

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