FAO in Türkiye

Ecological Agriculture for our food

Photo: © FAO

Ankara – A workshop entitled “Agroecology Training and Curriculum Development for Farmer Field Schools”was conducted in Bolu, Türkiye, as part of spring semester activities for the Agroecology project, planned by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MoAF). The workshop, which aimed at enhancing Agroecology in Bolu, was funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented in collaboration with MoAF, under the project “Enhancement of agro-ecological management system through promoting ecosystem-oriented food production”. Experts and farmers from the Provincial Directorate, as well as from the Seben and Yeniçağa districts, participated in the event.


At the opening ceremony, FAO Agricultural Officer and Project Technical Leader, Fazıl Düşünceli explained that the workshop laid the foundations for upcoming spring and summer training activities. He provided an overview of actions carried out within the project and those planned for the upcoming period. Düşünceli expanded on this point, explaining that “The main goal of this study is to understand the contributions of our producers, their expectations and needs. What do our producers want to see, discuss, and plan? We will try to answer these questions together and develop plans”.


During his opening speech, Director of the Bolu Provincial Directorate of Agriculture and Forestry, Zekeriya Ar, expressed his satisfaction with the decision to hold the workshop Bolu, citing the valuable involvement of farmers as participants and beneficiaries of the project, and emphasizing the importance of their input to the creation of an upcoming book on the practice of Agroecology in the region. Ar also highlighted the importance of FAO’s support in raising awareness about and building capacity for Agroecology – and enhancing productivity. He expressed gratitude to all those participating in the project, affirming that the initiative will serve as an example for many others and pave the way for future innovations.

The workshop continued with a presentation by Project Coordinator, Emre Akyüz, who summarized the overall framework of the project, and presentations on sustainable land management and soil organic carbon given by Erhan Akça, and FAO Agriculture Specialist, Abdüssamet Aydın. Detailed information on the crucial aspects of the project, including field demonstrations at 17 locations and the planning of Farmer Field Schools (FFS) were provided by Mehmet Doğan, an expert from the Field Crops Central Research Institute. Doğan emphasized that these activities would involve the practical application and showcasing of new varieties and ecological farming practices within the framework of FFS. Evaluations will be conducted in collaboration with farmers in the fields.


In addition to the presentations given during the workshop, experts from the Field Crops Research Institute and FAO project team conducted a detailed survey with participating farmers to elicit their views and assessments of agroecology approach. During the final part of the workshop, group activities were conducted to identify topics to be addressed in farmers’ demonstrations and FFS studies. The workshop concluded with detailed presentations from the workshop groups.

About the Bolu Agroecology project

Initiated in 2022 with financial support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Agroecology project is coordinated by FAO and the General Directorate of Agricultural Reform under MoAF. With a total budget of USD 6.5 million and a planned duration of three years, the project aims to develop an integrated and comprehensive agroecology management strategy for the Bolu province. The project also embraces policies and practices for agricultural ecosystem management and sustainable land management (SLM) to enhance the capacities of small-scale farmers and stakeholders, aiming to rehabilitate croplands and rangelands. It focuses on capacity-building and policy development for sustainable agriculture while tackling challenges associated with the fundamental causes of land degradation.