1000 Farmers Program Objective
Cargill aims to help farmers increase their productivity and improve their livelihoods, by launching the ‘1000 farmers 1000 prosperity’ program, which will benefit 1000 corn farmers in Mersin, Adana, Konya, Karaman, Manisa and İzmir. This program will provide expert agronomical and technical advice, bringing innovative technical and online tools and establishing best practices to help farmers thrive. It will also include financial literacy training.
The Scope of the Program
The ‘1000 Farmers 1000 Prosperity’ Program is scheduled to begin in the 2019 production season and will be spread over three seasons. In the first year, 22 agricultural engineers contracted by Cargill will work with corn farmers in Mersin, Adana, Konya, Karaman, Manisa and İzmir. 1000 farmers will be visited before the planting season and digital soil analyses will be conducted on their fields. From cultivation to harvest farmers will receive expert consultancy on various themes such as proper fertilization, irrigation management and disease prevention. In addition, farmers will be able to reach ‘1000 Farmers 1000 Prosperity’ telephone hot line to consult with expert agricultural engineers about issues ranging from planting through harvesting. They will also be able to manage their farms as a business via a farm management system online tool.
As part of the program, a selection of farmers will be visited on a regular basis by the experts and sensor stations (temperature, humidity and near infrared spectrometers) and satellites will be installed to monitor their soil, the weather and the status of their plants on a daily basis. The resulting data will demonstrate the positive impact of using information-based technologies on farm yields vs. traditional farming methods.
One of the aims of this program is to enable farmers to manage their farms as a professional enterprise. Therefore, Cargill has also included financial literacy in its new program and collaborated with Financial Literacy and Inclusion Association (FODER) for financial literacy trainings. As part of this collaboration, modern business management training will be offered to the farmers.
Contribution to National Income
During the press meeting, Cargill Foods Middle East, Turkey & Africa Managing Director Murat Tarakcioglu underlined Cargill’s commitment to partnering with farmers globally to promote sustainable agricultural and business practices to improve productivity, inclusive access to markets and rural prosperity: “We have trained hundreds of thousands of farmers around the world to use sustainable farming practices so they can increase yields and profitability and we look forward to bringing this program to our farmer partners in Turkey. It’s important to us that the farmers we buy corn from here in Turkey are prospering.” Cargill aims for its ‘1000 Farmers 1000 Prosperity’ Program to become a role model in social and digital transformation in Turkey’s agriculture industry which constitutes 6.1 percent of Turkey’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 4 percent of Turkey’s total export. One of the most important objectives of the program is to contribute to the ongoing efforts to increase Turkey’s agricultural revenues which was 51,8 billion USD in 2017 to 150 billion USD by 2023.