FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

FAO and Japan support Syrian refugees and Turkish host communities in starting agribusinesses

Another round of vocational trainings are about to start in Bursa, İzmir, and Şanlıurfa provinces to support selected Syrian refugees under temporary protection and Turkish citizens in launching micro-scale agrifood businesses. The FAO project, funded by the Government of Japan, will provide useful vocational and entrepreneurship skills, technical support services, as well as basic tools and equipment.

The inauguration of the activity which is part of the project “Promoting self-reliant livelihoods through employment and micro-entrepreneurship” was attended by Sheikh Ahaduzzaman, FAO programme officer, Ibrahim Halil Cetiner, Şanlıurfa GAPTAEM Director, and local representatives of the implementing partner, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, among others.

The 40-day training programme organized by local partners include both theoretical and on-the-job sessions. Subsequently, the 70 trainees will participate in entrepreneurship sessions covering planning, marketing, and accounting to improve their agrifood business skills. Moreover, the project will provide a set of basic tools and equipment to facilitate the launch of small-scale agrifood businesses – individually or as part of women cooperatives. Local partners will stand-by to provide continuous technical support and guidance on sustainable business development.

The project gives priority to unemployed women and women who are willing to start small-scale income generating activities. In İzmir and Bursa, all the project beneficiaries are women, who will also receive entrepreneurship support from the existing women cooperatives for establishing their own enterprises.

Prior to the start of the vocational trainings, FAO organized several online consultation meetings and a training of trainers programme to discuss the implementation modality of the activities in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic and the necessary precautionary measures.

All COVID-19 precautionary measures, including physical distancing and the use of proper protective equipment, will be kept during the trainings. FAO will provide necessary safety and hygiene materials and protective equipment such as masks, hand sanitizers, face shields, and information materials.

In his opening remarks at the inauguration ceremony, Ahaduzzaman emphasized that vocational and entrepreneurship trainings in the agrifood sectors have great potential to improve economic opportunities for both Syrians and host community members, especially within communities that rely on agriculture.

“In the face of the growing pandemic, there are several factors that put these vulnerable people at higher risk. The project presents a great opportunity to protect them from the adverse economic impact of COVID-19,” he added. “We would like to thank the Government of Japan for the financial support and our local partner, GAPTAEM, for the achievements of the previous project phases from the last two years.”

7 August 2020, Şanlıurfa, Turkey