Closing Multiplier event

Location : Agricultural Faculty – Çanakkale, Turkey
Host Partner- COMU
Mediators : Prof. Dr. Murat Yıldırım and Prof. Dr.Harun Baytekin and Prof. Dr. Kemal Çelik
Date : 30.07.2021

In this multiplier event, announcements about the event were made 1 week in advance (by phone, e-mail and face-to-face communication) to the audiences we determined as the target group in the project. In the event, support was received from the instructors of the agricultural structures department, who are experts in innovative ICT technologies, especially in agriculture 4.0 applications. Speakers Prof. Dr. Murat Yıldırım and Prof. Dr. Harun Baytekin and Prof. Dr. Kemal Çelik made a presentation and drew attention to the importance of the subject. At the event, the Handbook for developing ICT knowledge and skills for VET was presented to all relevant stakeholders, and also the main findings in the whole project process and the achievements in the e-collaboration platform were demonstrated with examples.

In addition, the project team exchanged views on possible opportunities for the continuation of activities in the field of “Agriculture 4.0” with the representatives of the relevant stakeholders. Participants in the meeting included from the relevant departments of the university, the Ministry of Agriculture, Farmers’ organizations and organizations providing private agricultural extension services, public education center, vocational higher schools, agricultural production cooperatives, agricultural irrigation cooperatives, etc.

For the event, the Faculty of Agriculture lecture hall, one of the biggest seminar saloon of ÇOMU, was organized 2 days in advance. On the day of the meeting, transportation and subsistence procedures were carried out carefully in accordance with the Covid-19 measures. At the meeting, ÇOMU rector Prof. Dr. Sedat Murat emphasized the importance of the project with a speech. An organization of about 70 people was held for the meeting, but 37 participants attended the meeting. Related lecturers from the university, ICT experts, agricultural publishers, representatives of agricultural cooperative organization, software engineers, technical staff, participants from small companies and local farms were included in the meeting. Brochures and handbooks about the project were given to those who attended the meeting for the first time, the main purpose of the project and how to train the target audience were explained.

At the event, topics such as how to register on our http://digifarming.eu/ elearning platform, what the project outputs uploaded to the platform are, what information they can obtain from them, and the current situation regarding Agriculture 4.0 technologies in other partner countries were discussed and visualized. Registration on the e-learning page where Farming 4.0 products are introduced, the introduction of the products and the guidelines for their use were introduced in this closing meeting. We shared a presentation of the relevant curriculum we created at the meeting and the results obtained from the pilot implementation of the curriculum with the participants. In general, the participants of the meeting had the chance to learn in simple language how to use the e-collaboration platform for “Farming 4.0”, how to access existing resources and how they can contribute to the further development of the e-platform.

At the meeting, 2 separate presentations explaining the worldwide importance of Agriculture 4.0 applications were made by Prof. Agriculture 4.0 and its use in crop production by Harun Baytekin, Prof. Dr. Kemal Çelik also made presentations on Agriculture 4.0 and their use in animal production, emphasizing the importance of the project for Turkey and expressing expectations from the project. A participant asked questions and expert lecturer’s answered. In the satisfaction surveys conducted towards the end of the event, it was seen that the participants had partial theoretical knowledge about agriculture 4.0, but were very willing to learn innovative technologies and applications. Participants expressed their expectations for the aims of the project, in which areas they were inadequate, and especially their thoughts on youth employment. It was pointed out that similar projects can be grasped much faster, especially by young people, and that the state should be more prepared in this area, and that the project is very meaningful in this context.

Our farmers, who have a high average age in Agriculture 4.0 applications, have limited ICT skills. We can say that entrepreneurial young farmers, young engineers and technical staff are more willing and skilled in adopting and implementing these practices.  In order to continue living in Turkey’s rural areas for agriculture it is still a very important place is so intense participation in such meetings. The general impression of the meeting is that especially young people and women need high value added information about ICT technologies in intensive agriculture. The participants stated that practical applications were more important for them than theoretical education, and that they would like to see good practice examples in the project and that this would be more beneficial for them. The project will include a large number of these examples over time. Dr. Baytekin and Dr. Çelik, responding to the questions of the participants in the using ICT technologies on livestock and vegetable-fruit production, said that they can earn more with high value-added products. Because the most important concept that can keep the participants in rural areas is that they can earn higher income through agricultural entrepreneurship. In their thinking about the training modules, the participants emphasized the importance of using an understandable and not very scientific language, clearly introducing new marketing techniques, and a large number of good practice examples. Within the scope of innovative product production in rural areas.

The conclusion is that the participants, especially young people, need more information about ICT technologies to have quality competition conditions.  In the preparation of the modules the project participating countries need to pay attention to this and demonstrate a number of good practice examples. The Farming 4.0 project Çanakkale event was pleasantly attended by an intense exchange of information, and expert speakers gave enthusiastic and satisfying answers to the questions of the participants. Particular requests from the participants were repeated especially for the repetition of such meetings. As a result, it was seen that the participants wanted a farming profession that provided higher income, they needed high value added products and they wanted to be informed about this issue intensively. Particularly, the participants pointed out that the state’s policies to support young agricultural entrepreneurs should be continued and among the outputs of the project, they wanted to see examples of high value added product production and good practice in a simple language.

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