Newsletter Volume 16 – September 2022
This is the sixteenth newsletter of Organic Egypt project. It reviews our activities in September 2022 and illustrates all interventions conducted with our partners IDAM and Demeter Egypt (EBDA).
We hope you are all doing well and hope you enjoy the reading!
Stay safe and healthy!
TRAININGS AND WORKSHOPS FOR PARTNER ASSOCIATIONS
Training on Biodynamic Agriculture
Over a 2 days training, Demeter Egypt engineers received several sessions on biodynamic agriculture. The training started with introducing the basics of biodynamic farming and highlighting the difference between organic and biodynamic farming.
In the following session, the participants learned about the origin of the ingredients and the used tools. This included a practical session, where the participants visited a slaughterhouse and understood the whole process from obtaining the organs to cleaning, and storing it.
The second day of the training consisted of a practical activity where the participants produced the 6 biodynamic compost preparations. They were divided into groups, working according to the steps in the biodynamic preparation manual (that can be found on Organic Egypt website) which included the number of preparations, its name, what the preparation is made of and the process on how to make it.
Poultry incubator processing training for female farmers of IDAM
After the success of the Fayoumi chicken pilot project, where IDAM introduced the very robust Fayoumi breed chicken to its members; a reproduction unit was established with the support of Organic Egypt. 4 incubators were delivered to IDAM and distributed in the 4 communities that IDAM work in.
With the processing of the reproduction unit, the female farmers faced technical problems with running the incubators like adjusting the temperature and humidity. Hence, IDAM organized a one day training with an engineer from the manufacturer company. He came to Minia and did a practical training on site.
NEW INNOVATIVE SERVICES OF OUR PARTNER ASSOCIATIONS
Economy of Love standard accreditation
The Economy of Love (EoL) Standard is certified by the Center of Organic Agriculture in Egypt (COAE) – which is an Egyptian certification body, accredited by the Egyptian Accreditation Council (EGAC) according to ISO 17065. In addition to the certification, COAE is validating and verifying the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) statements of the EoL licensees; the validation is based on the EoL project design document provided by the Carbon Footprint Center (CFC). Mainly, the CFC is managing the EoL carbon registry, and to avoid double accounting; each EoL project certificate receives a serial number connected to invoices, issue date and amount of CO2 tonnes.
Organic feed production unit for IDAM members
In the framework of establishing a new service for IDAMs members – rearing and distributing the very robust fayoumi breed chicken in Minia – a number of native breeds had been distributed to IDAM members and several training have been conducted in 2021. IDAM members were very committed and excited to work with the fayoumi variety, but unfortunately they faced a problem as the female farmers were also raising other breeds which led to mixing and losing the purity of the native breeds.
IDAM is planning to buy pure breeds again and raise them only by 5 chosen female farmers who do not have other breeds to ensure the purity of the breed.
Further, IDAM is aiming to provide natural feed at a fair cost for their female farmers from the feeding unit that was supported by Organic Egypt in 2021. They will train 10 facilitators on how to run the feeding unit to produce clean feed for poultry and also how to market it in the communities.
EDUCATIONAL AND AWARENESS RAISING CAMPAIGNS
Recipe Videos for Consumer Awareness
In light of RDNA and Organic Egypts cooperation to raise awareness, RDNA is producing and sharing recipe videos which are healthy, engaging and easy to do at home. Raising awareness for locally produced (and especially organic) products is crucial for small scale farmers and RDNA partners. Usually these farmers and producers don’t have access to Social Media or marketing platforms, and if they do they do not have the necessary tools and language to let consumers know about their products. The recipe videos are a short, fun, visual way to communicate with the consumers with an immediate Call to Action to experiment with the produce and products themselves.
Two dishes on Pumpkin as well as a Pan tomato soup and an eggplant salad were developed this September. The recipe videos include products from IDAM and EBDA partner farms, as well as other organic and clean products. They can be watched on the social media platforms of RDNA and Organic Egypt.
Farmers and Processors Market
Organic Egypt in cooperation with the RDNA, implements Farmers and Processors Markets in an open space at KMT house, Maadi in Cairo. After the summer break, where it was too hot to organize a market, the first market was held this September.
The market included various activities such as free yoga & pilates classes beside a delicious lunch. 10 vendors exhibited their products and around 300 visitors came to the market. All participants provided extremely positive feedback as the market this time was different and more fun than it usually is.
Consumer – Farmers Excursions
The excursions supported by RDNA and Organic Egypt are designed to bring consumers closer to farmers and producers. On Friday the 23rd of September, an excursion was organized to Al Sorat Farm in Giza. With the participation of 31 people, the day included various activities which were full of fun such as horseback riding, livestock and a delicious vegetarian farm lunch. Consumers tend to love and enjoy visiting farms so the feedback was really cheerful.
NETWORKING ACTIVITIES OF ORGANIC EGYPT PROJECT
Organic Egypt attend a meeting with WATDEV and Stakeholders from different countries
WATDEV – Climate Smart WATer Management and Sustainable DEVelopment for Food and Agriculture in East Africa – the project aims to develop an in-depth understanding of small and large-scale water and agricultural resource dynamics and management while boosting people’s resilience to climate change. The stakeholders held this meeting with the aim to carry out a participatory discussion about used farming practices and an evaluation of the local stakeholders’ ability to work together to adopt (or adapt) sustainable farming practices as well as to share the experiences. The meeting consisted of 2 parts; the first part was based on presentations from the stakeholders to introduce the project, objectives, methodology, followed by introducing all the participants in the meeting.
The second part was a discussion between all participants including Egyptian farmers, where everyone shared knowledge and experience on the problems farmers face during the cultivation processes and how they deal with those problems.
Demeter Egypt introduced the Economy of love standard which provides the farmers with social and cultural impact, besides the environmental and economical impact. EBDA also explained the EoL carbon credits system and how it ensures a stable income to the farmers during the cultivation process. At the end of the meeting, the importance of having helpful laws and regulations to ease the work were discussed.
Organic Egypt team visited Sahara exhibition
Sahara is the largest and most important agricultural, animal production, and aquaculture exhibition in the MENA region. Every year in September, Sahara is held for four days. This year, it was from September 11th to September 14th, 2022. Organic Egypt team visited the exhibition on the 2nd day to network and have an idea about the input suppliers in Egypt. The team attended a variety of sessions with different topics such as smart regenerative agriculture, and geographic information systems (GIS). The team also conducted several side meetings with different stakeholders like Dr. Adel Abdelsalam (the project’s consultant for sustainable poultry production and representative of the “Slow Food Organization” in Egypt), Waleed Ramdan from GIZ, Sigward Von Laue from Devilag project, and Omar Abdellatif from the Dutch embassy. Moreover, Heliopolis University including all its projects and Demeter Egypt had a booth at the exhibition.