The story of Arzu

'Working with an open mind'

Arzu Tohan likes to pursue dreams. After her agricultural study, where she explored different topics and spent time in different countries and cultures, she discovered that she prefers to work in research and development. This gives her the chance to be creative and to keep on learning. Learning from nature, from people, and from other cultures.

An interesting plant

In 2004 she started working for Rijk Zwaan in Turkey, where she became responsible for eggplant breeding. In that period a particular interesting variety was found in a trial. Together with Joep, the eggplant breeder in Holland, she had the feeling it could work as a hybrid variety for open field, but Rijk Zwaan did not have any breeding program for this… They decided to test it at a customer’s field and after several tests and after the market introduction it became a bestseller which is still the market leading variety till this very day.  Not only that: from that time Rijk Zwaan decided also  to invest in a new breeding program.

Shiny eyes

Arzu is convinced that this success is the combined result of faith and enthusiasm. Numbers are not enough, you also need freedom and shiny eyes. They can convince people to think outside the box. Cause sometimes a grower does not know what he is actually looking for.

Although Arzu likes to dream, she also likes to spend time with both feet on the field, and to be connected to the market. If she has discussions with colleagues, growers and other stakeholders, she is open to other opinions and perspectives. And she does not want to waste energy on negative emotions. Her experience taught her that an open mind is the best way to get good results.

Arzu is convinced that freedom and motivation are necessary for the continuous development of improved eggplant varieties. Rijk Zwaan shares this belief. Together with Arzu, we are working towards a healthy future.