Newsletter Volume 3 – September to December 2019
VISIT OF MR. MARTIN WAHL TO ORGANIC EGYPT & OBTAINING NEW PARTER ASSOCIATION
Mr. Martin Wahl, Head of International Division Hof (bfz) visited Organic Egypt team and attended the monthly meeting with the associations EBDA and FAODA. In this meeting we worked on the stakeholders of the associations. We listed and analysed them and discussed how important they are to the associations and how strong their influence is and what the associations role is towards the different stakeholders.
During Mr. Martins stay a new partnership was signed in November with the Coptic Catholic Bishopric of Minia which is represented by the Integral Development Action of Minia (IDAM).
IDAM works in 16 villages in Minia in various fields like education, health, handicrafts and agriculture. They started their agricultural activities only one year ago in 6 villages with a total of 600 farmers (300 women and 300 men) working on 60 acres; women are interested in rural food industries and animal husbandry; men in agriculture and cultivation procedures. We had the chance to visit some of the farmers during our stay and talked about the various challenges.
They are facing including water pollution, missing access to high quality organic pest and disease control products as well as organic fertilizers. We hope to be able to support IDAM in tackling these challenges and are very excited to have IDAM on board and are looking forward to a fruitful cooperation.
NEW TRAINING PROGRAM FOR PARTNER ASSOCIATIONS
A new series of capacity building trainings presented by “The Human Foundation” for the staff of the partner associations started in November 2019 under the title “The Spirit of Success in the Work Environment”.
The duration of the program is three months and the trainees are expected to acquire skills as building bridges of communication with colleagues (employers or employees) and resolving problems peacefully, focusing on finding the solutions and not the problems and acquiring the flexibility needed to reach correct and fair decisions for all those concerned.
ORGANIC EGYPT SUPPORTS PILOT PROJECTS
In total five pilot projects will be partially or fully funded by Organic Egypt. The selected pilot projects are in the fields of postharvest treatment of medicinal and aromatic plants in Fayoum, a dryer will be repaired and will serve many farmers in the area of Fayoum. A laboratory for the reproduction of predators in Belbeis, will be funded so that the partner associations can offer solutions to their integrated pest management programs. The production of organic cotton seeds in different governorates is a cooperation project between EBDA and the cotton research institute to offer organic cotton seeds for the organic cotton farmers that were obliged to use conventional cotton seeds as organic cotton seeds did not exist on the local market.
Organic Egypt is also partially funding a pilot project focusing on the production of organic vegetable seeds; which were not existing on the local market before. The project will fund the first investment in buying the seeds from international organic seeds production companies; the seeds will them be checked for their adaptation and acclimatization. In the second round the seeds will be replicated from the well adapted varieties. Also the equipment for measuring different soil parameters for a long term trial comparing biodynamic, organic and conventional agricultural methods will be funded from Organic Egypt.
ORGANIC EGYPT IS PUBLISHING THE REPORT ON THE SITUATION ANALYSIS OF THE ORGANIC SECTOR IN EGYPT
Since January 2019, Organic Egypt has been working on screening the current situation of the organic agriculture sector in Egypt. A report of the outcomes will be published and send around in the coming weeks.
Attending DeVliage Meeting
A Euro-Egyptian program to steer migration through sustainable development in agriculture and rural development
On November 26, Organic Egypt, as well as members of FAODA and EBDA participated in a dissemination and networking event of the DeVilag consortium. It was opened by Prof. Dr. Mohamed Yousri Hashem, who welcomed the guests and described how developing the educational offering of agriculture teaching and training and aligning them with local needs, global trends and technological advances will directly enhance the livelihoods of the whole community starting with the farmers themselves. He also then elaborated the very new educational approach at Heliopolis University that focuses on Organic Agriculture as a sustainable improvement on smallholder and subsistence farming.
Dr. Ragab Eisa, the representative of the Ministry of Agriculture then assured all that the ministry is always supporting such great projects and initiatives that are promoting a sustainable approach for development and aligning them with the Egypt vision 2030 for sustainable development. Ms Manal Yousef, a representative of the Ministry of Youth and Sports described the role of the central administration for training to develop skills and abilities of the youth to unfold their potential in all sectors and areas. Different project participants then elaborated on the various activities within the project. A very stimulating panel discussion with numerous lively contributions from the audience rounded up a very informative networking event.
FAO Event on Launching Agricultural Extension Service
On December 4th, Organic Egypt attended the FAO Event launching Al Mofeed Application for farmers and extension services that took place at the Steigenberger Hotel in Tahrir. Dr Adel Zekaizak, FAO Communication Consultant opened the workshop.
Dr. Mohamed Mamdouh Yacoub, Assistant FAO representative in Egypt presented FAO engagement in several projects in Egypt and highlighted the FAO project on digital agriculture extension and communication services.
The deputy Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Mona Mehrez, spoke about the importance of the extension services and the role FAO plays in supporting extension service activities.
There were four different sessions that presented the content of the Al Mofeed Application by the scientists who developed the extension materials; the App will start with the following four fields
- Palm Date
- Household poultry production
There was an open discussion and commentary session on the App and possibilities to improve/change it. It is expected that the App will be launched in the coming months. The workshop was an opportunity to network with other colleagues from the agricultural research centers and the FAO office in Cairo.
Meeting with Egyptian Society for Sustainable Agricultural Development
Organic Egypt meet on the 25th of December, representatives of the Egyptian Society for Sustainable Agricultural Development; Dr. Mounira Al Fateh, Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim and Dr. Ahmed Saaid, to discuss possible cooperation between the association and organic Egypt.
The society was established in 2017 and has in total around 70 members, most of them are researchers and scientists. The association is producing predators and consulting farmers on how to use them.
Dr. Mounira is experienced in educational video materials and is the media representative for the Ministry of Agriculture.
The association has experience to produce on farm units for production and rearing of natural enemies, which might be a good support for the current partners of Organic Egypt, i.e., IDAM, EBDA and FAODA.