Newsletter Volume 22 –March 2023
This is volume number 22 of Organic Egypt project newsletter. It reviews our activities in March 2023 and illustrates all interventions conducted with our partners, the Integral Development Action of Minia (IDAM) and Demeter Egypt (EBDA).
Ramadan Kareem! We wish you all a beautiful and relaxing time during this holy month!
TRAININGS AND WORKSHOPS FOR PARTNER ASSOCIATIONS
Onboarding training for EBDA engineers
One of Organic Egypt project activities is to support its partner associations in capacity building of their staff. An intensive practical training for a duration of 12 days has been held for the 10 newly hired agriculture engineers in Demeter Egypt. Also 3 IDAM staff attended this introduction training to organic and biodynamic agriculture. The participants were introduced to the principles of organic and biodynamic farming systems including the whole production scale starting from soil preparations that included compost production on small and large scale, irrigation systems, animal husbandry, the interaction between soil and plants to the postharvest treatments. One day was also dedicated for company visits that process organic and biodynamic produce like herbs, fresh vegetables and cotton. It was a very successful onboarding training and the engineers were very active and motivated.
Training on the ERPNext online system
In light of our support for the partner association Demeter Egypt's digital transformation, a training was held for the association's agricultural engineers on the new updates that occurred in the ERPnext program. The idea is to make it more capable and easy to use when dealing with the association's farmers' information. The training included the program's updates, ways to input data quicker and easier, and how to record data and verify its legitimacy.
Business consultation training for EBDA
Organic Egypt project co-organized a training with its partner association EBDA in business consultation skills. The aim of this training is to choose the best candidate for a marketing specialist position in EBDA association. The first day of the training was a profiling training for 6 Organic Egypt and EBDA staff members, to observe and learn how to choose the most suitable candidate during the two days training for the applicants of the marketing specialist position.The trainers were from the german non- profit organization Bildungswerk der Bayerischen Wirtschaft (bbw-Gruppe).
Marketing training for startups in IDAM
The entrepreneurs of IDAM received business consultation and marketing training over the course of three days. With their brilliant ideas and practical projects, 15 young people from IDAM communities exchanged experiences and questions with each other, and the trainers from the Educational Institute of the Bavarian Economy (bbw GmbH). The trainers covered a variety of related subjects, including how to use project canvas, create a brand, and market it.
NEW INNOVATIVE SERVICES OF OUR PARTNER ASSOCIATIONS
Farmer field school on IDAM Demo plots
The Agricultural Learning Center (ALC) of IDAM aims to showcase sustainable/organic agricultural cultivation methods. With the support of Organic Egypt, IDAM team designed 2 demo plots of ½ feddan anise and ½ feddan fennel for their members. The fourth and last farmfield school for the winter season was held with around 30 farmers of IDAM in March. The topics of this farmer field school were about the harvest and post harvest procedures aside to the specifications needed for exportation. The farmers will start harvesting in May and the next farmer field school will be done in the summer season for basil and sesame. We are planning to design 2 demo plots of ½ feddan basil and ½ feddan sesame for the summer season cultivation.
Effective Microorganism research project
EBDA is conducting a field research on 2 new different Effective Microorganisms (EM) products to study their effectiveness and to evaluate the economic aspect of those products from farmers’ perspective. Effective Microorganisms are mixed cultures of naturally existing beneficial organisms that may be used as inoculants to boost the soil ecosystem's microbial diversity. Many studies approved that EM soil inoculation can increase soil quality, plant development, and yield.
Thus, it started a new research trial on one of its member's farm to study the efficacy of the EM products.
Economy of Love Carbon Credit (EoL CC)
The EoL CC project conducted several activities and integrated several tools within its scheme in the last months like the EoL carbon calculator as well as the compost calculator. The EoL carbon calculator for farmers was created through the collaboration of environmental experts from the Carbon footprint Center (CFC), software developers, and farmers who were committed to promoting sustainable agriculture practices. The calculator was designed to be a user-friendly tool that enables farmers to estimate the potential carbon credit revenue that they could earn from adopting Economy of Love farming practices on their farms. It takes into account various factors such as soil health, crop rotation, renewable energy, trees, compost and livestock management to provide farmers with a realistic estimate of the carbon sequestration and avoidance potential of their farm. The EoL carbon calculator is intended to be a motivational tool for farmers, encouraging them to make the transition to sustainable farming practices and to reap the financial benefits that come with it. EoL has also successfully launched the latest EoL CC tool, the EoL Compost Calculator, designed to measure the methane avoidance achieved through the production of biodynamic compost following the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) methodology.
This innovative calculator provides a simple and effective way to track and quantify the positive impact of composting on greenhouse gas emissions, which can help EBDA farmers to generate an additional income through compost production. It also benefits officials to make informed decisions when it comes to managing organic waste.
By using the EoL Compost Calculator, we hope to promote the use of sustainable waste management on farms and contribute to the Egyptian wide efforts to mitigate climate change. Many social media campaigns were conducted as well, to raise awareness and interest in EoL carbon credits. The campaigns actively engaged potential customers and help to highlight the holistic impact of EoL carbon credits on smallholder farms in Egypt, and how they can contribute to a more sustainable future.
Implementation of the Regionalwert Calculator in Egypt
EBDA farms are actively serving the environment and community in ecological, economical and social dimensions. The services that sustainable farms are contributing to, for instance, increasing soil fertility and climate resilience, protecting insects, and training young people are services that farmers provide to the community without being appreciated or rewarded for it. Regenerative agriculture can only unfold its full potential if the value created is made visible and sufficiently remunerated. The Regionalwert performance calculator aims to show and give what added value biodynamic and regenerative farms are actually providing to society. In close cooperation with Regionalwert GmbH, EBDA has been working since July 2022 on tailoring this calculator to the Egyptian context, in order to provide more information on the impact that is being provided by EBDA farmers.
TRAINING AND LEARNING MATERIAL CREATED WITH OUR PARTNERS
Recipe Videos for consumer awareness
Organic Egypt in cooperation with RDNA Food store, is producing recipe videos to raise awareness on natural, local and organic food. The recipe videos are a short, fun, visual way to communicate with the consumers and easy to do at home. This March the recipe videos included Tahini Stuffed Dates, Chia Yogurt Pudding, Egg Sohour Dish and Chia Dates Smoothie! All recipe videos can be watched on the social media platforms of RDNA and Organic Egypt.
Videos on the benefits of Economy of love standard
In light of Organic Egypt’s and EBDA’s cooperation to raise awareness, several videos on the benefits of the Economy of Love standard were produced by EBDA this March. In the videos, certified farmers are sharing their stories, challenges and benefits to inspire other farmers to convert their farms to a sustainable agricultural practice. Also, one video was shared by the Egyptian Biodynamic Association on the International Women's Day about its empowered women team which is responsible for the great success of the EBDA, and the EoL standard. All videos are published and can be watched on the social media platforms of EBDA.
With the support of organic agriculture experts, we publish advice on organic agricultural cultivation methods on our social media platforms in simple Arabic language. During this March we published an advice on using plants of the cruciferous family to combat the fungal diseases, rot, and wilting causes in the soil. We included examples of these plants and how to integrate them with crop cultivation. We got very high reach on this post and many questions from interested people.
Farmers and Processors Market
Organic Egypt in cooperation with RDNA, implements farmers and processors markets in an open space at KMT house, Maadi in Cairo. The March Market was conducted on the 18th of March from 10am to 5pm at kmt! 11 vendors participated in this market with around 300 guests. The vendors offered baladi organic eggs, healthy snacks, different organic herbs, sandwiches, dates, natural cosmetics including skin and hair products, and some candles as well as clothing was also provided. The day was filled with lots of great conversations and discussions, tastings and more to bring consumers closer to producers and farmers.