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Suzanne’s Project Pilot Program in Turkey

Kumluca, Turkey – Beginning

2011 – August Suzanne’s Project was inaugurated in Akdeniz Turkey
2011 – October 24-November 18 – First Suzanne’s Project Pilot Program in Kumluca, Turkey with 40 Turkish women farmers (Program Agenda)
2012 – February 16-March 6 – Second Suzanne’s Project Pilot Program in Elmali, Turkey with 20 Turkish women farmers
2012 – September 24-October 5 – Third Suzanne’s Project, Duzce University, Turkey
2013 – January 21-29Fourth Suzanne’s Project, Korkuteli, Turkey with 20 Turkish women farmers and five Rutgers Study Abroad students
2013 – May 20-3Empowering Women Farmers in Turkey. Boztepe, Turkey with 13 Turkish women farmers and five Rutgers Study Abroad students – Study Abroad Syllabus

In 2011, Professor Robin Brumfield and Burhan Özkan conducted a needs assessment and feasibility study to identify priority needs, interests and capacities of women farmers in Turkey. The team interviewed Extension educators and female farmers in three villages, using the results to develop a pilot 28-hour course to train 40 farmers from Kumluca, Turkey. The course was offered to small-scale citrus and greenhouse producers. Training included computer literacy, technical citrus and greenhouse production, and business management. Technical topics included greenhouse construction, ventilation, soil productivity, plant nutrition and irrigation, pesticide safety, plant protection, biological insect and disease control, sustainable production, and protection of resources.

Women farmers were encouraged to pursue opportunities and start new ventures, upgrade or improve existing businesses, expand their customer base or enter new markets. The women developed a business plan for their farms and crafted a mission statement by the end of the course.The women in the pilot project renamed it Suzan’ın Projesi (Suzanne’s Project) in honor of Dr. Brumfield’s daughter who inspired her to take the project to Turkey.

As a result of the successeful pilot program, the municipality of Elmali funded a second pilot (2012), followed by Duzce University that funded a third Suzanne’s Project. A joint venture with the Korkuteli Vocational School; the Municipality of Korkuteli; Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; and Akdeniz University, Turkey was soon to follow, where fourth Suzanne’s Project was conducted (2013) to train approximately twenty small-scale Turkish women farmers who grow mushrooms in Korkuteli, Turkey.Finally, thirteen Turkish women farmers participated in Suzanne’s Project in Boztepe, Turkey with