Tazlar Village Presents Turkey With A Model Rural Development Project

11 July 2009
A rural development project, carried out by the TEMA Foundation with the support of Borusan Group Founder and Honorary Chairman Asım Kocabıyık, retrenched the threat of soil erosion while boosting agricultural productivity by up to 50% at the Tazlar Village, Afyonkarahisar. The project, with 12 years and a total of TL 2.3 million in the making, encompassed the building of a small lake, 2 km of drainage piping, 12 km of irrigation channels, 18 km of roads and infrastructure of the village in addition to thousands of trees planted. Population in the village, which had plummeted down to 360 in 1997 reached 1.600 by the completion of the project also including periodic residences. 600 farmers have been trained at the newly established Asım Kocabıyık Farmer Training Center.
July 11, 2009, İstanbul; The 12 year-long work at the Tazlar Village, Afyonkarahisar, selected by the TEMA Foundation as the venue for a model rural development project, has been completed. At a meeting held in Tazlar Village, once threatened by soil erosion and landslide, the public was informed about the efforts made by TEMA under Borusan's sponsorship.
Attending the meeting were the Minister of the Environment and Forestry Prof. Veysel Eroğlu, Governor of Afyonkarahisar Haluk İmga, Afyon Kocatepe University Rector Prof. Ali Altuntaş, top bureaucrats of Afyon, TEMA Foundation Founders and Honorary Chairmen Hayrettin Karaca and A. Nihat Gökyiğit as the architects of the project, Borusan Holding Founder and Honorary Chairman Asım Kocabıyık as the sponsor of the rural development project as well as the Chairman of the Board of Borusan Holding A. Ahmet Kocabıyık, Borusan Group Executives, Chairman of the Board of TEMA Foundation Prof. Lütfü Baş, businesspeople of Afyon and the residents of the Tazlar Village.
At the ceremony marking the completion of the project, Asım Kocabıyık said:
"As you know, migration from rural to urban areas, erosion of agricultural lands, regression in agricultural activities, closing down of elementary schools in villages are among the major problems of our country. And we are witnessing the economic and social repercussions of these issues today.
It has been my firm belief that —in addition to the measures to be taken by the state— private enterprises may also assume a role in the resolution of such issues. 12 years ago, I decided to develop and implement a rural development project. And as the place of implementation, I selected the Tazlar village where I was born and raised until the age of six. I entrusted the detailing and implementation of the project to a specialized institution in the field, the TEMA Foundation where I was one of the founders and served in the board of directors for two years. I owed a debt of gratitude to this land and an obligation of service to my hometown. And now I am trying to pay this debt. We have proven that much can be accomplished when the public, civil society, private sector and local people cooperate with conviction and determination. I am hoping that the Tazlar Village Rural Development Model will constitute an example and all villages in our country take their due share in such development projects."
In his speech at the ceremony, TEMA Foundation Founder and Honorary Chairman Hayrettin Karaca noted that the "Tazlar Village is the first exemplary rural development project completed by our Foundation in the region" and continued:
"Soil erosion, reclamation of agricultural lands and agricultural productivity are among the most important issues in Turkey. Once the land is lost, it is very costly to reclaim it. TEMA Foundation has been carrying out similar projects throughout the country. And with our Tazlar Village project, we have proven that we can reclaim the land and boost the productivity of the soil by 20 to 50 percent by creating new water sources and by facilitating transition to modern irrigation techniques. We have demonstrated how fruit nursery can boost household income in a short amount of time and that agricultural economy could be lucrative. We have proven that the training required to take these steps may be given rapidly and with effective results. I am hoping that the gains of this project will set an example for Turkey."
Tazlar Village Rural Development Project
Within the framework of the "Afyonkarahisar – Sinanpaşa – Tazlar Village Rural Development Project to Prevent Soil Erosion" commenced 12 years ago in the Tazlar Village with a view to setting an example for Turkey also with the support of public institutions including the Office of Afyonkarahisar Governor Special Provincial Administration Directorate of Development and Urban Rehabilitation, Eskişehir Institute of Anatolian Agricultural Research, and Afyonkarahisar Provincial Directorate of Agriculture, the following have been accomplished:
  • In 1997, the rural economy and settlements in the Tazlar Village were under the threat of a major soil erosion and landslide risk due to deforestation on the hills spanning an area of 200 thousand square meters. Natural spring waters were not used effectively, leading to considerable loss of productivity in agriculture.
  • Following the decision by the TEMA Foundation and the Founder and Honorary Chairman of Borusan Holding Asım Kocabıyık to implement the project, meetings were held in 1997 also with the participation of the villagers.
  • Firstly, more than 2,000 meters of drainage piping were laid down in the landslide area on the north face of Mount Ahır where Tazlar Village was located and more than 1,500 willow trees were planted to absorb the excess water in the soil. Construction of a 275 thousand cubic meter capacity lake followed to control the existing water sources, minimizing the threat of landslide and meeting the water needs of crop production.
Soil productivity increased by 50 percent
  • Irrigated agriculture was started on an area of 1.6 million square meters and the productivity of the land was increased by 50 percent through proper irrigation techniques (dripping and sprinkling) on an area of 1.2 million square meters with the water drawn from the lake. Upon the creation of these means, a series of secondary projects were organized for the training of the farmers. Meanwhile, fruit saplings were planted on an area of 980 thousand square meters. A permanent source of income was created for the farmers. The annual per capita income of the farmers from agricultural production was up from TL 10,337 in 2007 to 12,478 in 2008. Production of plants used as animal feed was encouraged. 18 km of road was built to bring 500 thousand square meters of unconnected land into the economy. 270 thousand square meters of land surrounding the lake was planted with more than 50 thousand trees and terraced.
  • After a certain level of productivity was established and revenue potential for the village population was created, infrastructure construction was carried out to increase the living standards for the population of Tazlar Village, which was expected to increase. Within this framework, Asım Kocabıyık Farmer Training Center was established and theoretical and applied agricultural training and consultancy was provided also to the neighboring villages. In 33 experimental fields, seed species and varieties suitable for the region were introduced to the farmers. Essential training materials were distributed. The region was transformed into a center of attraction.
  • As a result of the 12-year work, Tazlar Village's population increased from 360 in 1997 to 1,600 in 2008 also including periodic residences. Total productivity in the fields increased by 20 to 50 percent.
  • The total revenue of the Tazlar Village farmers from crop production increased by 20 percent in 2008 to TL 723,823 from TL 599,559 in 2007.
Sign up below to receive all the latest updates & news from Borusan
I agree to receive e-mail from Borusan.
Borusan Holding Logo Borusan Holding Logo
Copyright © 2015 | Information Society Services
Copyright © 2015 Borusan Holding FooterLine Information Society Services