In 2005, HasNa awarded a small grant to Cetin Sen, a graduate of HasNa’s water resource management training in 2003, to start a program in Sanliurfa, Turkey teaching local small land farmers about strawberry production.
Recent developments in irrigation had made it possible for farmers in the region to grow cotton, yet due to the large cost of cultivation, small land farmers were not able to make enough money from their crop to earn a living.
Mr. Sen’s goal for the strawberry cultivation program was to teach these farmers how to grow and market an alternative crop – strawberries – so that they would be able to earn a greater profit off their land. Local farmers received hands-on training from the planting process all the way through harvesting and marketing.
Mr. Sen’s program not only gave small land farmers the opportunity to increase their income, it also created many new job opportunities, especially for women. Once farmers realized the profit they were making, they were more willing to try alternative crops. Most importantly, though, these farmers gained the self-confidence and the ability to make a meaningful impact on their community.