Newsletter Volume 1- December 2018 to June 2019
ABOUT ORGANIC EGYPT
Organic Egypt is a project funded by the BMZ (German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development) with the objective to increase the competitiveness of growers and processors of organic products in Egypt. Organic Egypt is implemented by the German partner bfz gGmbH (Training and Development Centers of the Bavarian Employers’ Associations) together with sequa gGmbH (Partner of German Business) and works closely with two selected partner associations of organic agriculture in Egypt – Egyptian Biodynamic Association (EBDA) and Fayoum Organic Development Association (FAODA). The goal of the project is the improvement of framework conditions for the cultivation and sale of organic products in Egypt through needs and demand-oriented services and advocacy.
ORGANIC EGYPT KICK-OFF MEETING AT THE SEKEM FARM
January 2019 marked the big kick-off workshop for Organic Egypt, hosted in SEKEM, Egypt.
Around 20 experts from the field of organic agriculture, including the Egyptian and German partners, joined an interactive workshop set to review the project plan and log frame, synergize and create momentum to enhance the capability of organic farmers in Egypt to enlarge the quantity and quality of Egyptian organic agriculture products.
INTRODUCING ORGANIC EGYPT’S PARTNER ASSOCIATIONS
Organic Egypt is working closely with two local partner associations: the Egyptian Bio-Dynamic Association (EBDA) and the Fayoum Agro Organic and Development Association (FAODA). Both, organizations look back at a long history of working with local farmers to support their transformation to organic agriculture; helping them improve their planting techniques and market their products.
Together with its partner associations, Organic Egypt is working on three priority areas:
- The partner organizations have developed their internal organization and adapted it to the needs of their members.
- The members of the partner associations have access to qualitatively and quantitatively improved consultancy and training.
- The marketing possibilities for organic products from Egypt in the national and international market are improved.
To fulfill these goals as effectively and efficiently as possible Organic Egypt designs and implements different activities, projects and workshops that are explained in more detail in the following parts.
MONTHLY PARTNER ASSOCIATIONS MEETING
Despite co-existing for quite a long time, FAODA and EBDA are now for the first time sitting together for a regular monthly meeting which is hosted and facilitated by Organic Egypt. Any representatives of the organic private sector and other consultants are welcome to join the meetings. The purpose of the meetings is to bring these different stakeholders together in y regular basis and making sure they work together, learn from each other, and overcome challenges by joining forces and creating synergies.
MEMBER ASSESSMENT OF PARTNER ASSOCIATIONS
In order to make sure Organic Egypt provides effective support and enhances and increases the impact of the two partner associations, a needs assessment was conducted with the members of both
associations during the months from March to June 2019. Around 100 farmer members of both associations participated in interviews and questionnaires. According to the outcome, Organic Egypt will determine the best way to support the two partner associations in adapting their services to the needs of their members.
GOVERNANCE WORKSHOP FOR BOTH ASSOCIATIONS
In the second half of June, Organic Egypt conducted a five day needs analysis workshop with both partner associations that will determine further interventions and support of Organic Egypt. The associations together with the Organic Egypt core team and two facilitators concluded the priorities of the coming three years on organizational development of EBDA and FAODA.
The outcomes of this workshop are:
- An action/project plan for the next six months according to the workshop outcomes and the project log frame
- A set of clear account-abilities that can be expected from the associations to have a more effective internal structure
- A set of relevant indicators and metrics for both partner associations
- A plan for effective networking in Egypt and internationally
CAPACITY BUILDING TRAINING
On the other hand, internal training are conducted on a monthly basis to train extensionists in technical and soft skills so that they can support their members in the best and most effective way. The EBDA is conducting training for their employees every month on different topics in organic agriculture. Also FOUDA staff is participating in these training.