Newsletter Volume 27 –August 2023

Dear Reader, 

This is volume number 27 of Organic Egypt project newsletter. It reviews our activities of August 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

Training on integrated pest and disease management

Organic Egypt organized a one day training for the partner association EBDA on integrated pest and disease management. The focal point of this training was how to identify causal agents of plant diseases, how to make accurate diagnosis, and which are the common disease symptoms and signs.

The goal was to empower EBDA engineers to assist farmers in implementing organic and demeter standards. Also how to distinguish between disease disorders and viral diseases which both look the same in symptoms was discussed and how to best monitor the crops to notice the pests and disease as quickly as possible. The training was supported by practical illustrations and dynamic discussions and was a very interactive training with a high engagement and interest from the trainees to learn how to best support their farmers.

Training on Soil Sampling and Evaluation

A training on proper soil sampling and evaluation was organized by Organic Egypt for its partners. The training emphasized on the significance of precise soil sampling for evaluating soil suitability and crop selection. Soil morphology, topography, and proper sampling area selection were discussed. Depth aligned with root depth was advised, while avoiding certain zones. The training included a practical field demonstration and the engineers had the chance to discuss their questions with the trainer.

Training on Soil Microbiology and biofertilization

A three-day training on soil microbiology and biofertilization 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. This program aims to empower professionals in organic agriculture and promote sustainable practices in the field.

With the participation of 18 engineers and facilitators from IDAM, the training focused on soil microorganisms, biofertilizers, and the significant role of soil microbiology on soil fertility, rather than the use of synthetic fertilizers that have adverse impact.

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 of basil and ½ feddan of sesame for the summer season cultivation.

IDAM holds farmer field schools for its member farms on the demo plots, where the farmers have the opportunity to gain practical experience in organic cultivation of new crops they don't know. The session this August focused on the biological control of pests and diseases, where farmers learned about disease diagnosis and controlling strategies. They also explored effective predator types for pest reduction. The upcoming September farmer field school will focus on harvest and storage techniques, marking the concluding session

New Economy of Love Carbon Credit (EoL CC)

Economy of Love has reached an important achievement, as the number of carbon credits issued to new and old member farmers increased to 137,101 tons of CO2 with an approximate market value of 4.8 million Euros as of August 2023. This impressive growth reflects the joint efforts of EoL's farmers, companies, and consumers who are all committed to making a positive impact on the environment and increasing the well-being of farmers and communities.

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 prepare at home. The recipes this month included AL, Mango Lemon Basil, Chicken Pasta Pesto , KMT Burger Classic, Green Matcha Latte and Organic Greek Yogurt Parfait. All recipes videos can be watched on the social media platforms of RDNA and Organic Egypt.

Video on the success story of EBDA members

In light of Organic Egypt and EBDA cooperation to raise awareness, several videos on the benefits of organic and biodynamic farming were produced. A series of impactful videos (7) have been produced by EBDA, shedding light on the influence of organic agriculture on society. These videos include success stories like SEKEM products which is a member in EBDA, other member stories, challenges, and benefits that encourage fellow farmers to embrace sustainable practices. Additionally, videos on soil, carbon fixation, and biodynamic preparations offer valuable insights. Find these videos on EBDA and Organic Egypt's social media platforms.

EDUCATIONAL AND AWARENESS RAISING CAMPAIGNS

Consumer Excursion

Consumer excursions are designed to bring consumers closer to farmers and producers. With our strategic partner RDNA we conduct monthly consumer-farmer excursions. The excursion this August was organized to Happy Farm in Badrashin, around 30 km south of Cairo in cooperation with Nawaya.

Nawaya ist a community-based network that produces & preserves Egyptian heritage food systems. 

20 adults and 9 children joined this excursion. The program included a tour around the farm, tasting the 4 different mango varieties, with the opportunity to shop fresh mangos and dates directly from the farm. This was followed by an activity of producing Egyptian fresh cheese called “Bekhero” by local women in the Nawaya Community Kitchen. Lunch was cooked by the women and included delicious traditional dishes. The day was closed with petting the farm animals, and time for the kids on the playground.

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 market this month took place on a sunny Saturday afternoon, and was dedicated to celebrate the mango harvest season. 7 vendors participated in this market with around 400 guests. The activities on that day included mango tastings and tasting competitions, and workshops.

ORGANIC EGYPT AS A SUSTAINABLE ENTITY

Meetings with the partners discussing the status of Organic Egypt sustainable entity

Organic Egypt's dedication to sustaining its services after the project ends in November 2024 is continued through collaborative efforts with strategic partners. An agreement on the establishment of the Organic Egypt Foundation has been concluded, with meetings focusing on its activities for stakeholders in sustainable agriculture.

Together with our partners we took steps toward maintaining Organic Egypt’s sustainability. We started to have a series of meetings led by Dalia Hossam, Organic Egypt Facilitator, to work on building the Organic Egypt Foundation. Through  brainstorming sessions regarding the foundation's main activities which will serve all stakeholders who are involved in the sustainable agriculture sector.