Tülin Akin

Ashoka Fellow
Istanbul, Turkey
Fellow Since 2012

Citation

This profile was prepared when Tülin Akin was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2012.
The New Idea
While information technologies are opening up new opportunities for sharing information and interacting in virtually every sector in Turkey, the agriculture sector and farmers themselves do not benefit from these remarkable tools. Tülin is bringing together these two unlikely friends—Turkish farmers and information technologies—to provide farmers up-to-date information, know-how, skills and professional development, while also creating opportunities for them to reach alternative markets by bypassing traditional intermediary structures.

Tülin established Tarımsal Pazarlama (Agricultural Marketing) and its web-portal www.tarimsalpazarlama.com in 2004. It is now Turkey’s first and main communication, e-learning and e-commerce media that meets a farmer’s every possible need. Accessed by farmers through a simple SMS message or by their children through Internet cafes, the portal is not only encouraging Internet usage for better farming, but also creating opportunities for inter-generational dialogue. Since its launch, it has served over 800,000 farmers as a one-stop virtual resource center and marketplace to meet with other farmers, agricultural engineers, veterinarians, agricultural firms and exporters.

Tülin is continuously creating services and products that are tailored to farmers’ needs to ensure that they participate in the value chains as full citizens and have full access to any type of information needed to improve their work and lives while also sharing their knowledge with the farmer community. Tülin is also addressing systematic challenges of Turkey’s agriculture sector by lobbying with the companies and public institutions. Tülin’s future plans include opening up the e-commerce part of her portal to the international markets to allow Turkish farmers to sell abroad, to establish “technology villages” which demonstrate how technology can be used in rural life to the maximum and to give women farmers a portal through which they can sell local agricultural products and handcrafts.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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