Living Soil, Local Seed


It is aimed to find the best local seed for the oil that doesn’t require water, power or fertilizer since the climate change and drought are expected to effect Turkey as well as the rest of the world in the medium term, to multiply this seed for the future, and thus to keep the soil and nature alive. Enabling the social integration of Syrian refugee women has been another prioritized goal of the project.


In the field studies conducted in Mardin and surrounding, the neighborhoods especially in Midyat, Dargeçit and Savur districts were visited to establish contact with small farmers that produce only for themselves, lack financial opportunities or cannot engage in industrial production to the nature of their fields, and ancient seeds like Sonik, Beyaziye, Iskenderi and mostly Sorgül were collected. The 1650kg local seed found during field studies were purchased from small farmers to be multiplied in the application fields, and planted to the suitable fields. 

Within the scope of the project, the production costs of the local seed produced without water, fertilizer and power were minimized. Information about production techniques were exchanged with Syrian refugee women, who are specialized in traditional methods even though they are 70 years behind Turkey in agriculture. For these techniques to be applied by larger groups, 70 female farmers including 35 locals and 35 Syrian refugees were trained in a training program of UN Food and Agriculture Organization. From the seeds planted last year, 20 tons of Sorgül were harvested. Sorgül that is continued to be multiplied as a seed was planted to 650 decares this year. Currently, 350 female farmers composed of locals and Syrian refugees, and 24 engineers are working as registered to the social security system with the support of Turkish Ministry of Social Security.


  • Republic of Turkey Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock
  • Republic of Turkey Ministry of Labor and Social Security
  • Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Administrative Supervisor Ceyda Bölünmez Çankırı
  • United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)