"Third Generation Agriculture Entrepreneurship Project Launches to Attract Youth to the Agriculture Sector" With the synergy generated by the youth, Turkey's agricultural product exports are projected to reach $50 billion.

“Third Generation Agriculture Entrepreneurship Project Launches to Attract Youth to the Agriculture Sector” With the synergy generated by the youth, Turkey’s agricultural product exports are projected to reach $50 billion.

The Aegean Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters’ Association, the leader in plant product exports in the Aegean Region of Turkey, initiated the second phase of the “Third Generation Agriculture Entrepreneurship” project to increase Turkey’s agricultural product exports from $35 billion to $50 billion by attracting youth to the agriculture sector.

Having completed the first phase of the “Third Generation Agriculture Entrepreneurship” project in 2022 with the participation of 55 agricultural engineering and food engineering graduates or students, the Aegean Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters’ Association decided to organize the second phase of the project from April 20 to May 11, 2024, due to high demand.

The “Third Generation Agriculture Entrepreneurship Training” is a collaborative effort between the Aegean Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters’ Association, Izmir University of Economics, Ege University, ATMOSFER TTO, and TARGEV. A total of 82 young individuals are participating in the training program.

Highlighting that agriculture has become a strategic sector globally after the pandemic, Hayrettin Uçak, Coordinator Vice President of the Aegean Exporters’ Associations and President of the Aegean Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters’ Association, expressed their focus on projects aimed at increasing agricultural production and maximizing food security.

Uçak stated, “With the Third Generation Agriculture Entrepreneurship Project, our aim is to attract youth to the agriculture sector.” He further added, “Our target audience includes final-year students and graduates of agricultural faculties, as well as all entrepreneurs and producers interested in improving themselves in the field of plant production. These individuals will receive training from competent experts for four weeks while also visiting businesses and orchards and participating in harvest activities.”

Providing information on Turkey’s agricultural product exports, which increased from $34.5 billion to $35.8 billion with a 4% growth in the last year, President Uçak continued, “Our food product exports stand at $28 billion. We are positioned as one of the world’s strong suppliers in sectors such as fresh fruits and vegetables, processed fruit and vegetable products, dried fruits, olives and olive oil, aquatic products and animal products, cereals, pulses, oilseeds, nuts, and medicinal aromatic plants. With the increased participation of youth in the agriculture sector, technology and productivity will come to the forefront. The groundwork will be laid for agricultural product exports to reach $50 billion through residue-free safe food production. With programs like the ‘Third Generation Agriculture Entrepreneurship,’ we aim to attract youth to the agriculture sector in the Aegean Region, which leads Turkey with annual agricultural product exports of $7.5 billion, while also contributing to residue-free production through our project ‘We Know the Pesticides We Use.'”

The first lesson of the “Third Generation Agriculture Entrepreneurship,” which will take place over four weekends from April 20 to May 11, 2024, was delivered by Prof. Dr. Uygun Aksoy, President of the Ecological Agriculture Organization, one of the world’s authoritative figures in the organic sector, on the topic “Agriculture, Threats, and Opportunities.”

ETO General Secretary Agricultural Engineer Özge Çiçekli shared developments in sustainable agricultural systems, while Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bihter Çolak Esetlili from the Ege University Faculty of Agriculture Soil Science and Plant Nutrition Department conveyed strategies for soil fertility and plant nutrition.

Prof. Dr. Meltem Onay from the Sustainable Agriculture Scientific Research Cooperative explained the importance of cooperatives in agriculture, and Prof. Dr. Fatih Şen from the Ege University Faculty of Agriculture Horticulture Department provided tips on harvesting and storage to prevent food losses in fruits and vegetables.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mustafa Tolga Esetlili from the Ege University Faculty of Agriculture Soil Science and Plant Nutrition Department informed participants about smart agriculture technologies. Selçuk Karaata shared innovative application examples in the agriculture sector.

Participants of the “Third Generation Agriculture Entrepreneurship” will listen to expert opinions on the agenda of the agriculture sector for three weeks.