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Farming insider: Gizem Anar, Turkey

About Gizem

Born and raised in Eskişehir, Gizem Anar manages the family farm together with her brother and their father. She spent all of her childhood and youth on the farm. Aside from the hard graft, she also has a keen interest in literature, as revealed by her education – a university degree from a faculty of literature. When she has time, she enjoys reading or going to the cinema.

Farm facts

The Farm in the province in Anatolia, was set up by Gizem´s grandfather 70 years ago, and three generations of the family have worked there since then

Farm size: Around ten hectares of land with 1,200 sheep and goats

Cultivated crops: Corn, barley, turnips and wheat

Tradition: Gizem´s grandfather handed the farm down to the family. Her father has continued to manage the business and will pass it on to his daughter. Eventually, her nephews will take over

People should love what they do, and I love farming. I enjoy looking after animals, plants and nature and try to feel connected to them!
Gizem Anar, Eskişehir

Question time

Why did you decide to become a farmer – and can you picture yourself doing anything else?

People should enjoy the work they do – and I love what I do. I´ve been interested in farming since childhood. Even when I was a little girl, I often used to visit my father at work. These days, I simply enjoy taking care of animals, plants and nature. I try to feel close to them. I wouldn´t want to do anything else.

What do you associate with independence?

For me, freedom means being independent. Being free, being able to do things yourself without having to depend on anybody or report to anyone. If, for example, you work in an office, then you have time limitations you have to adhere to. Here, I can carry out my work according to my own timetable. I keep pace with my own schedule. I think that farming offers more freedom than other professions.

How important are respect and appreciation for you?

As Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, once said: "The real master of Turkey is the farmer." According to Ataturk's words, farmers and agriculture should be respected, since it is farmers who produce and cultivate foodstuffs and supply people in the cities with healthy agricultural produce. Without farmers, there would be no such production.

How do you approach innovations and new technologies?

We have started to use more technology, simply because we have to keep pace with developments so that we don't fall behind either in crop cultivation or livestock farming. For example, we have replaced our sprinkler irrigation system with drip irrigation in order to consume less water – because water is precious. You can't be successful in farming without keeping up with technology.

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Stephan Krings
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