Tahir Dadak (Season 02 - Episode 22)
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This Week's Changemaker; Tahir Dadak Develops Capacity for Improved Agriculture


On 24 March 2011 Sabanci Foundation's Turkey's Changemakers hosts Tahir Dadak, who aims to introduce innovative approaches to agriculture to support local farmers and prevent urban migration in Eastern Turkey.


Published by the Ankara Chamber of Commerce in July 2010, the report on "Agricultural Imports" Turkey highlight that Turkey possesses an arable land that is twice as big as the entire area of Greece. Turkey's arable land is 95 times larger than the entire area of the Luxembourg, and equal to the area of England. No matter how grand Turkey's arable land size is, the same report points out that Turkey's agricultural exports doubled while its imports grew ninetyfold within the last 30 years.


Once used to be one of the self-sufficient agricultural countries, Turkey has become a major importer of agricultural goods within the last 30 years. However, there are people fighting for change who are recognized as "Changemakers" who believe that lands don't become fertile on their own; rather, one has to work hard to increase the fertility of a land.


Having worked at the Turkish Development Foundation for long years, along with a group of friends Mr. Dadak finally established the Development Center Association in Diyarbakır, a southeastern province in 2004. His goal was to introduce innovative approaches to agriculture to support local farmers. Therefore, he investigated ways to improve farmers' productivity while offering them courses on agricultural methods. He developed a project called "Developing Capacity in Rural Areas", that has been implemented for 4 years. Believing that development can not be achieved only with participation of men, Tahir Dadak offered courses on greenhouse cultivation and public health for women in 12 villages of Diyarbakır.


Tahir Dadak's "Developing Capacity in Rural Areas" project has reached more than 2.000 people in the Eastern Turkey and yet made him one of the few people that come to mind when people talk about rural development in Turkey.


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