Author: Filiz Kinikli (EGE University)
Editor: Blanca Casares (AEIDL)
On 25 May 2022, the team of Ege University (Turkey), coordinator of the work in the MOVING Reference Region of Beydaglari (Antalya, Turkey) organised a workshop with 19 young people. All participants were farmers and under 30 years old. All of them were enthusiastic and interested in the MOVING project.
The main objective of this workshop was to gather and discuss local youth perspectives on sustainable mountain development (SMD) to determine how the selected greenhouse tomato value chain in the region can help their conception of SMD, including economic, socio-cultural and environmental ones.
According to the young farmers, the main problem is economic and, above all, irregular income. High input costs; crop diseases and labour shortages are the other challenges for greenhouse tomato production. Many young farmers are pessimistic about the future. Incentive mechanisms should be developed to encourage young people (not only monetary, but also social status, etc.). They stated that there might be a need to provide training to young people about smart farming. In addition, agricultural training and government support for greenhouse cultivation are crucial for the region and the VC.
Some pests and diseases cause a decrease in quality and losses in production. To solve this problem, conscious agricultural pesticide practices need to become widespread in the region. For this purpose, it is considered important to organise training programmes for farmers.
The widespread unconscious use of groundwater in the region restricts farmers’ access to water. In order to make more conscious use of groundwater resources used in irrigation water supply, it is recommended to train farmers and to use smart farming systems in irrigation. In addition, it is considered important to use rainwater for irrigation by establishing rainwater harvesting systems in greenhouses.
It has been observed that young farmers are open to improvements. Therefore, organising training programmes such as smart farming systems will be very useful for young farmers.