Yeşim Bekyürek / Kaçem / Turkey / Empowering women in rural communities / Organic farming

Yesim Bekyürek

Empowering women in rural communities through an agroecology project

Agricultural engineer Yeşim set up an agricultural training and ecological production centre in a village in central Anatolia that fosters economic empowerment among vulnerable female farmers, while protecting the environment and biodiversity.

Through her work, Yeşim has been able to observe the extent to which chemicals can have harmful effects on the environment and crops. As a result, she developed an interest in other production methods that were more respectful of nature and its resources. Her research led her to develop an agroecology project that meets a very real need for empowering female seed producers in the Cappadocia region of Turkey, both socially and economically

An agroecological cooperative managed by female farmers

Yeşim is a pioneer in involving women in promoting and protecting local agro-biodiversity resources. The old school in the village of Bünyan Karahidir has been converted into a centre where women are trained in organic farming techniques. Using their own locally grown seeds, the women at the cooperative have developed a range of organic products on site, such as tomato concentrate, jam and wheat pasta, which they sell under the Kaçem brand.

Producing and consuming local organic produce

Yeşim’s initiative has empowered women seed producers by offering them a source of income, while developing organic farming in Cappadocia to offer consumers healthy and sustainable food options. Building on her achievements, Yeşim aims to pursue her dream of rolling out sustainable agriculture on a larger scale through the emancipation of rural women.

More information about the Yesim project:

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