Newsletter Volume 29 – October 2023
This is volume number 29 of Organic Egypt project newsletter. It reviews our activities in October 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 Demeter and Economy of love standard
Organic Egypt project conducted a one-day training session for the extension engineers of the partner association EBDA. The training covered the Economy of Love (EoL) standard regulations as well as the Demeter regulations and the latest updates related to them. The training was part of
Organic Egypt project’s efforts to promote organic agriculture in Egypt and to support the farmers and processors who are certified by Demeter Egypt .
Training on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants
A three-day training on organic medicinal and aromatic plant production was organized for 18 engineers and facilitators of the partner association IDAM. The training is part of the one 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. The trainer presented the most important plants that have a high market value and are newly cultivated in Egypt. Also, the most common diseases and pests that may infect those plants were discussed and explained, and how they can be controlled in a safe and natural way, without using chemical pesticides.
The training was very interactive and engaging, as the participants had the opportunity to ask questions, share their experience and concerns. The feedback from the participants was very positive, as they expressed their satisfaction with the quality and relevance of the training program.
Training on Community Advocacy
Organic Egypt organized a three-day workshop for the partner associations on community advocacy. The workshop's focus was on collaborating to drive positive change, raise awareness, and tackle community issues. It emphasized collecting data and identifying key influencers such as local officials, community leaders, nonprofits, and businesses. This empowerment equips community members with the skills, knowledge, and resources needed to advocate for themselves. The core message throughout is promoting change through organic agriculture, reflecting the partner associations' advocacy goals.
NEW INNOVATIVE SERVICES OF OUR PARTNER ASSOCIATIONS
Installation of Solar Panels for the Egg Incubation system in Minia
Following the successful Fayoumi chicken pilot project in collaboration with IDAM, and establishing a dedicated reproduction unit with four egg incubators that were provided to IDAM and strategically placed across the four communities they serve.
As part of this pilot project, a hybrid photovoltaic system was installed at IDAM's community office in Ebwan village in Minia Governorate. The system enables sustainable operation of the incubator using solar power and serves as a model for IDAM female farmers, who run the incubators in the communities.
Economy of Love Carbon Credit (EoL CC) - Updates
We are pleased to announce that EoL has achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first carbon credit program to be registered with the Egyptian stock exchange.
This accomplishment marks an important moment in EoL’s ongoing efforts to combat climate change and reduce carbon emissions, while increasing the income of smallholder farmers. The EoL carbon registry has also made substantial progress. The total number of carbon credits issued now stands at 137,101 and 16,479.9 carbon credits have been retired. Furthermore the EoL website has been updated to improve the availability of information to their stakeholders by introducing three new website sections:
- About Us: On this page, an overview of EoL’s vision, mission, and core values are displayed. It also offers insights into the team behind the Economy of Love, and provides a range of key documents giving a more detailed insight into the standard processes.
- Grievance Page: This page allows stakeholders to file feedback and complaints in order to incorporate multiple safeguards to maintain project compliance with EoL standard rules throughout their project lifecycle.
- Consultation Page: The "Consultation" page plays a vital role in our rule-making process, fostering transparency, informed decision-making, and a judicious approach. This platform facilitates the collection of input and feedback from our committed stakeholders. Such valuable contributions enable us to make well-informed decisions grounded in evidence, expertise, and the perspectives of the local communities most affected by these rules or decisions.
Effective Microorganism (EM) Research Project
In the last summer season, we focused on growing maize to study how different EM products affect its growth and the quality of the soil. After the harvest, we are running an analysis of the soil to understand how well the EM treatments worked. This data will help EBDA’s engineers provide clear advice to farmers on using EM products effectively. The experiment’s goal is to improve soil quality, boost crop growth, and promote sustainable farming with EM technology.
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. In the published videos, RDNA focused on the school year starting again, aiming to raise awareness of parents towards healthy food for their families and children. The “back to school” series focused on balanced nutrition for lunch boxes for children. Recipes included Sourdough bread smoked chicken, Chicken nuggets with date cream sandwich, Organic chicken sausage wrap, low morning with natural eggs and fermented olives and hot pepper, fresh artisanal bread with natural ingredient toppings. All recipes videos can be watched on the social media platforms of RDNA and Organic Egypt.
Awareness raising videos
RDNA and Organic Egypt teamed up to showcase local small-scale producers, who are all about making clean, natural, regional and organic products. We captured the stories of two producers in the easy-to-watch series of “RDNA Conversations” videos. The first two producers are Hana Galal, the founder of Well World that produces natural household cleaning products, and Yara Wael, the creative mind behind Dhayan House for natural cosmetics.
Both producers shared the story of the establishment of their startups and how they get their raw materials to produce the natural products.
EDUCATIONAL AND AWARENESS RAISING CAMPAIGNS
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 last market was visited by eight vendors showcasing and selling their products, while sharing their stories and how they farmed and produced with consumers. There were many workshops and activities that took place during the market such as different yoga sessions to enhance the concept of holistic wellness and health through food, nutrition and body.
Cotton harvest festival
Demeter Egypt celebrated the start of the cotton harvest season with its member farms in Damietta governorate. Over 200 people attended this event including EBDA members farms, neighbor farms that are not certified and interested to learn more about organic farming, around 50 people representing national and international textile companies as well as 30 people from public authorities and the governor of Damietta. The event was covered by 3 national TV channels! It was a great opportunity for all stakeholders to network, connect and celebrate together. The day started with cotton picking alongside local farmers, a first-time experience for most, resulting in an impressive harvest.
The productivity was good, as the farm owner was pleased with the productivity and shared his organic farming journey, inspiring others to adopt these practices. The day also included other speakers and traditional music themed with the cotton harvest tradition.
ORGANIC EGYPT AS A SUSTAINABLE ENTITY
Meetings with the partners discussing the status of Organic Egypt sustainable entity
Organic Egypt had a meeting with some of the stakeholders in the organic agriculture sector who expressed their interest in joining as founders of the soon-to-be-established Organic Egypt Foundation. The meeting focused on Organic Egypt’s vision of having a founding team that represents different perspectives and backgrounds to ensure diversity and integration in the future direction and strategy of the organization. The participants agreed to have a timeline for launching the foundation in the near future.