Turkish agronomist teaches hunger-stricken Malawians about agriculture

Ece ÇELİK – ISTANBUL

As part of a project to train African villagers at risk of famine in farming practices, a Turkish agronomist spent days in Malawi teaching locals what to plant for food.

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“You know the famous saying, ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him all his life. This is what we do, ”Merve Gülistan Aydın, agronomist, told the daily Hürriyet on January 11.

The name of the project that took Aydın to this South East African country is “Nature in my heart”, carried out by the “Dreams of Children Foundation”.

She has been teaching sustainable farming practices to dozens of villagers in rural areas of the country facing the risk of famine for a month now.

“I came here at the invitation of the founder of the foundation, Mahmut Ensari Caymaz. We are setting up orchards with our African friends, ”she noted.

Born in 1991, Aydın studied organic agriculture at Gaziosmanpaşa University in Tokat Province on the Black Sea. Working on Turkey’s first and only biodynamic farm, she has consulted with many businesses and individuals across the country interested in farming for years.

However, people recognized her for her charities and efforts in areas affected by natural disasters. In February 2020, she rose to fame for her efforts to rescue animals trapped under the debris of buildings that collapsed after an earthquake in her hometown, the eastern province of Elazığ.

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“In addition to the plantation, we also have a ‘dairy goat project’. Malawian families get milk from animals and learn how to make dairy products, ”she said.

She also thanked everyone who donated saplings to the Malawian people once she announced the project on her social media accounts.

“As soon as I made the announcement, a bunch of donations were made. With the help of donors, we have planted some 1,200 young lemon, orange and mango trees in two villages in Malawi, ”she said. “We then wrote the names of the donors on the saplings and posted the photos of them on social media. “

It’s quite heartwarming to see new donors lining up, Aydın added.

Caymaz, who has been in the African country for six months, is proud to welcome Aydın to Malawi. “We gave agricultural training to adults and taught botany education to children.

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He called the orchards he set up with Aydın as an “ecological school”.

About Keneth T. Graves

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