An introduction to the project: Visual Narrative of Women Farmers Project (now called Suzanne’s Project) by Mick Minard
Post-pilot report: A preliminary social impact evaluation of Suzanne’s Project by Mick Minard
The original press release issued by Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey: Inspired by the scalability and impact of the Annie’s Project, a nationally recognized risk management educational program for female farmers operating in the United States, Dr. Robin Brumfield, New Jersey’s Program Leader for Annie’s Project and an Extension Specialist in Farm Management in The School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University, and Mick Minard, a Photographer and Communications Strategy Consultant with an expertise in reporting the impact of market-based strategies for social change, formed a partnership with Akdeniz University in Antalya, Turkey to adapt the Annie’s Project model to train Turkish women farmers on the best practices and basic skills necessary for them to sustain and scale profitable agricultural businesses. The mission of the project is to recognize and develop the technical and managerial capacities of Turkish women farmers through education, while supporting the region’s economic advancement toward sustainable agricultural development and gender equality.
Women currently account for approximately 45% of Turkey’s agricultural workforce. In recognition of women farmer’s as critical agents for enhancing agricultural and rural development and food security in Turkey, the Women Farmers Project will provide specialized training in business management, information technologies, alternative production systems, soil productivity and plant nutrition (among others) to help women farmers pursue opportunities to start-up new ventures, upgrade or improve existing businesses, expand their customer base or enter new markets.
To initiate the planning stages of the project, Brumfield and Minard traveled to Antlaya in September to conduct a needs assessment and preliminary feasibility study to determine the scope and program of the Women Farmers Project. Working in partnership with Dr. Burhan Ozkan, Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Advisor to Rector and Coordinator for Bologna Process Coordination Office at Akdeniz University, Bedrullah Ercin, the Provincial Director of Food, Agriculture and Livestock in Antalya Province, and a select team of Agricultural Extension Educators working at The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (MINFAL), a survey was conducted to identify priority needs, interests and current capacities of women farmer’s in the area. By enabling each women to participate actively in her own development, the results from the initial survey helped to determine the final training program and pilot location for the project.
The pilot will be a 28-hour course to train 40-45 Turkish women farmers who are small-scale citrus and greenhouse producers from Kumluca. It will run from October 24th to November 18th, 2011. The underlying objectives of the pilot include an examination of 1) the socio-economic characteristics of the small-scale farmers participating in the pilot, 2) an understanding of the system of farming they practice, 3) a determination of their level of interest in and adoption of improved production technologies, business planning and management strategies, and new tools for disseminating knowledge and best practices, 4) an articulation of the constraints and opportunities for achieving sustainable agriculture and 5) the implications of these constraints and opportunities for scaling the project and for improving local extension services.
The intended impact of the project will be primarily measured by the women’s ability to use agricultural and enterprise skills to calculate and manage the risks of changing their patterns and methods of production, along with improvements in their business practices and enterprise planning skills; in particular, their ability to take advantage of new or growing markets – an indication that women farmers begin to think entrepreneurially, analyzing their situation and identifying income-generating, cost-saving and environmentally sound activities.
More about the leadership team here.
Other articles/press in the U.S.:
2011 NJAES Annual Report (Page 8)