Newsletter Volume 26 – July 2023

Dear Reader, 

This is volume number 26 of Organic Egypt project newsletter. It reviews our activities in July 2023 and illustrates all interventions conducted with our partners, the Integral Development Action of Minia (IDAM) and Demeter Egypt (EBDA).

We hope you enjoy the read!

TRAININGS AND WORKSHOPS FOR PARTNER ASSOCIATIONS

Communication training for EBDA engineers

In light of the cooperation between Organic Egypt project and the Egyptian Biodynamic Association (EBDA) a training on communication skills was conducted for 26 EBDA’s agricultural engineers. The training covered the general principles of the communication skills between employees themselves, and between employees and farmers.

As well as the keys for a successful teamwork. Furthermore, the training included discussions about organizing training programmes for farmers for helping them to shift from conventional farming to organic farming. The training was very interactive and the trainees were very engaged and interested to learn how to support their farmers.

IDAM strategy development workshop

Organic Egypt project organized a strategic planning workshop for its project partner, the Integral Development Action of Minia (IDAM). The workshop focused on crafting the strategy paper for IDAM's agricultural program. The team developed a comprehensive and well-informed strategic plan with clear objectives and a logical framework (logframe) to guide the implementation of the program effectively

Training on Integrated Nutrition Management

A two day training on Integrated Nutrition Management was organized for IDAM team. The training is part of the year-long organic agricultural extension diploma program developed by Organic Egypt, covering crucial topics in organic agriculture. With the participation of 18 engineers and facilitators from IDAM, the training focused on soil microorganisms and biofertilizers.

The interactive nature of the sessions facilitated knowledge exchange, receiving positive feedback on the training's quality and relevance. This initiative aims to empower professionals in organic agriculture and promote sustainable practices in the field.

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 basil and ½ feddan sesame for the summer season cultivation.

IDAM holds its farmer field school on the demo plots, the session in July focused on land fertilization techniques and the importance of implementing a suitable irrigation system. This marks the second farmer field school of the summer season sultivation, with around 30 farmers actively participating. The next session, planned for the end of August, will delve into pest and disease management topics

Economy of Love Carbon Credits (EoL CC)

With the support of Organic Egypt project, EBDA conducted an awareness-raising campaign to promote organic agriculture under the Economy of Love carbon credit standard in Beni Suef governorate. During the event, 30 EBDA farmers were awarded carbon credit certificates, which were verified and validated in June 2023. Moreover, 26 newly joined EBDA farmers have received funding as a prepayment for carbon credits earned through adopting organic agriculture practices. This funding serves as an incentive for them to engage in composting and tree planting initiatives. The event was accompanied by 50 neighboring farmers that are not members in EBDA, as a result, EBDA gained 30 new members who filled out the EBDA membership form after this event. It was a very successful awareness-raising campaign and is planned to be conducted in other governorates in the coming months.

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. The recipes this month included Grilled Mango with lemon zest, Mango Coconut Kefir Smoothie, Mango Oat Crumble, Mango Prickly Pear Smoothie, Mango Soup Indian Style, Mango tangy Sorbet, Mango are Pepper Salsa, Mango Roasted Almond Salad. Celebrating the mango season in Egypt!

Video on the success story of EBDA members

As part of the collaborative efforts between Organic Egypt and EBDA to promote awareness, a series of informative videos on the benefits of organic and biodynamic farming were created. The collection includes seven inspiring videos showcasing EBDA members' success stories, highlighting the challenges they overcame, and the benefits they experienced through adopting sustainable agricultural practices. Additionally, educational videos in Arabic were produced to support and educate farmers interested in transitioning to sustainable practices.

Competition for Organic Crop Manuals

Organic Egypt project and the Faculty of Organic Agriculture, Heliopolis University, hosted an informative online webinar on July 22 for “Grow Organic Competition 2” (Ezraa Odwy 2) applicants. The competition aims to create a simple Arabic organic manual to support farmers with scientific material. This webinar aimed to answer the questions of the applicants and to discuss the best way to create a manual with accurate and simplified agricultural information.

The webinar was moderated by Dr. Fawzi Abu Al-Abbas, Dean of the Faculty of Organic Agriculture at Heliopolis University, Dr. Shaimaa Hatab the Vice Dean of the Faculty of  Oganic Agriculture, Heliopolis University, and Dr. Mazen Barakat, Professor of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, Faculty of Organic Agriculture, Heliopolis University.

The session guided 33 participants on competition rules, manual criteria and submission deadline. Emphasis was on the manual criteria, which needs to be accessible to farmers with limited english or latin knowledge while maintaining scientific accuracy. The moderators also discussed the importance of agricultural extension in promoting organic agriculture in Egypt and how the manual can help and support the farmers. The webinar was an informative and interactive session that aimed to encourage and guide the applicants to create a high-quality organic manual.