The agricultural sector knows you for your successful work, but can you tell us about yourself for those who do not know you? Who is Coşkun Yıldırım?
I was born in Istanbul. I am an ordinary child of an ordinary family. I studied in ordinary schools and I was a very ordinary student. However, I have an ambitious and determined personality. I had a bumpy business life. In addition to the times I was earning money, I went bankrupt several times. Until 16 years ago, my life and tomato and pepper used to come side by side while making menemen. I went bankrupt with the 2001 crisis. I thought my life was turned upside down. Shams of Tabriz said, "How do you know that your life will not be better than the bottom?" It happened as he said. Since 2004, day and night, every moment is full of agriculture, agricultural technologies, and rural development. We are working on these issues with my team. At the point we have reached, we have touched many untouched issues and have been able to produce solutions. The solutions we produce are localized and used in 8 countries of the world.
You shared your experiences with the public for those who want to farm in the book Farming 101, which is a guide. How did the idea of writing a book come about?
Many educated people, who wanted to get rid of the chaos of metropolitan cities, dreamed of settling in a village, thinking that they would find peace in the countryside and, if possible, to make agricultural production. In the Covit -19 Pandemic, we started living almost imprisonment in cities. The idea of returning to the village and living and producing in the countryside started to take up much more minds.
People who are trapped in the houses they bought by paying incredible money in the cities ask, 'Can we make use of our lands in the villages, how would we settle there?' began to think as. Those who do not have land in the villages have already started to consider buying a small land with their savings. Farming is a difficult, arduous but equally enjoyable and profitable business. However, if you say that I will farm for easy money, I can offer you more profitable and risk-free jobs.
If you don't want to make your life harder, I suggest you take your farming planning very, very seriously. Many people, who have been tired of city problems for many years, dream of returning to agricultural life or rural life. When these dreams come up in a community of friends, we know that if anyone in that community knows us, they immediately give us our contact information. The number of these recommendations from friends increased so much that both me and my team were very tiring, and we could not provide satisfactory information to those who called us. We felt that we couldn't fully help many people over the phone. Experiencing living there without knowing the rules of rural living is likely to cause disappointment or even financial loss. Therefore, you need to set your expectations correctly. With these thoughts and responsibility, I decided to write a guidebook.
What kind of reactions did you get from the readers about the Farming 101 book?
It has only been a few days since the book was published. We haven't been in advertising and promoting yet. However, sales of books are very promising. I think that those who read it as a need-based guidebook will move to much better points with their advice.
At the same time, you are in the management of TABİT Intelligent agricultural technologies. Do you see enough demand for agricultural technologies by farmers in Turkey?
Agricultural technologies should be supported by the state at macro level and the farmers' need for qualified information should be met by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Industrial farmers follow developments in agricultural technologies very closely. However, family farmers who make individual decisions do not have enough information about how technology will increase their productivity and their quality of life, so they are very cautious about some of the technologies. However, when they see and experience technologies, they have no difficulty in acquiring the technology. For example, sales of the automatic steering system in tractors are going very well in our country. I think similar technologies will become widespread over time.
How to make a way of farming as a profession in the world and Turkey should be monitored?
While the situation of farmers in the world is similar, the attitude of governments towards farmers determines their level of welfare. From this point of view, I divide the point of view of country administrators towards farmers into three: Developed countries come in the first group. We can write many names such as USA, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Austria here. The governments of these countries attach importance to the agriculture and food chain as a strategic priority and provide all kinds of support for farmers to produce. They even force them to improve production and efficiency. Most of the countries in the second group are in Africa and Asia. The governments of these countries do not care about agriculture. Generally, foreign investors produce in their countries and sell what they produce in world markets. Citizens of these countries have difficulties in accessing food. Turkey, a very special country for me outside of these two groups. For too long, the managers did not consider agricultural production and food in a strategic position, letting the farmers be strained in the free market price maelstrom of brutal capitalism, but continue to produce farmers out of spite.
If we take a little bit of your author identity, is this your first book? Do you have any other books that you started or published?
This is my first book. It really took a lot of courage to produce the first book. Writing and presenting what you have written is a very different feeling. After I wrote my book, we went through it several times with real critics. Especially if you are writing a guidebook, your responsibilities towards the person who bought the book are enormous. I prepared the book with this awareness. I hope it will be useful. I am making my preparations to bring the experiences I have lived in life to the reader with my new books. Very soon, I am preparing a trilogy especially on "Entrepreneurship".
Finally, what are your suggestions for those who want to start farming?
Farming is a way of life. Whether they are ready for this, "Will Farming -101 Become a Farmer Than Me?" They can internalize it by reading the book. In this book, I addressed farming with its social, economic and cultural aspects instead of farming information. Once these are solved, learning about breeding knowledge is not difficult. However, they want to get breeding information before they start new farming. I think it would be more correct for those who will start farming to evaluate their adaptation to the economic, social and cultural perspective of rural life and their physical competence.
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