All Kurbin farmers know Ymer. The 61-year-old man has been a veterinarian for over 30 years. Many people also know him as a poet and researcher in the area. He has published four books, and he reveals that he considers journalism to be his second profession, though he doesn't hold a degree.
Ymer states that his work as a veterinarian, although difficult, never dissipated his desire to write articles, poetry, and chronicles mainly about farmers.
His job with the Agricultural Office secures income for his family, but he voluntarily engages to support farmers. He is an enthusiast. "One is not driven by the pay, but from the desire to contribute to his country and fellow citizens to benefits morally and spiritually. There is no greater joy than seeing how a family lays the foundation to a sustainable economy," he states.
He does not have a regular schedule because he believes that "the farmer's concern is ever-pressing". At any given time, countless farmers find a welcoming source of advice and support on agriculture and farming.
Ymer is one of the earliest contributors to World Vision in Kurbin. Through his volunteering work, only these past five years, he has trained over 500 farmers, while also leading a group of 21 farmers. "Currently we have 20 groups with nearly 22 farmers each, whom we support continuously. In cooperation with World Vision, we have trained hundreds of farmers. We focused on small farmers, who are more in need of support. We trained them on animal husbandry, animal and pen hygiene, and breeding," he specifies.
We meet with Ymer at his office, right after finishing another training with 32 farmers from various Kurbin villages. He passionately speaks of the completed projects and his engagement with the farmers and the whole community. "We have also carried out training on topics such as the value chain of agricultural products from the farmer to the consumer. Besides the training, farmers have been supported with inputs such as seedlings, chemical fertilizers, upgrading of the irrigation network, fitting of pens and distribution of livestock", Ymer states.
He proudly shares that in cooperation with World Vision, he has organized the first village fairs in the history of Kurbin. "Through the fairs we have promoted farmers' products. The most attractive fair was held in Gjorma village, renowned for its olive groves, with over 5,000 saplings," he recounts.
The farmers confirm they are satisfied not only with training but also with getting agricultural inputs. This helped them lay the foundations for a sustainable family business. Farmers state that they have learned how to tend to animals and plants while increasing their productivity and finding buyers for their products.
"Farmers are now cooperating with each other. They do most of the work jointly. They have established contacts and experiences. They are more connected. Farmers have increased their knowledge of their individual, work, and volunteer work.
The work done with World Vision speaks for itself. ''There have been hundreds of trainings, thousands of olive seedlings have been planted and thousands of lives have been changed,",Ymer concludes his story while calling for increased attention to agriculture and farming.
For the past two years, World Vision has worked with approximately 450 farmers in the Kurbin region. They have received training on animal husbandry and hygiene, feeding of plants, and on vegetable farming. One hundred farmers have been supported with agricultural inputs such as olives (1,500 seedlings), sprinkler pumps, grape strainers, cow milking machines, and even beehives.