Newsletter Volume 31 – December 2023

WELCOME TO ORGANIC EGYPT NEWSLETTER! 

Volume 31

Dear Reader, 

We hope you had a beautiful and relaxing  Christmas time with your family and friends and wish you a Happy New Year 2024!

This is volume number 31 of Organic Egypt project newsletter. It reviews our activities in December 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 Agroecology

Organic Egypt Project organized a three-day training entitled "Introduction to Agroecology" for its partner association Egyptian Biodynamic Association (EBDA). About 22 engineers from the EBDA attended the training. The training aimed to provide an overview of the current state of global agriculture and its impact on the environment

and how to make the agricultural system more resilient and sustainable.  It was a very interactive training where the participants had the chance to ask questions concerning challenges they face on the field and learn how to introduce these practices to farmers.

Training on the Organic Agricultural law in Egypt 

Organic Egypt organized a three-day training for its partner associations about the organic agricultural law in Egypt and other environmental laws affecting the agricultural sector. The first day of training focused on giving an overview of the history of environmental and organic agricultural laws in Egypt, in addition to the challenges that women face in the agriculture sector. 

The second day of training delved into the specific regulations and requirements for organic farming in Egypt. Additionally, participants engaged in interactive discussion about the implementation of the law. On the last day of the workshop, participants were given the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills through practical exercises and case studies by creating an advocacy strategy on the sector's development.

NEW INNOVATIVE SERVICES OF OUR PARTNER ASSOCIATIONS

Cattle treatment and claw trimming stand

The Egyptian Biodynamic Association (EBDA) is planning to integrate cattle health and management of cattles on organic and biodynamic farms to its consultancy services. Proper cattle hoof health is essential for the overall well-being of the animals, and regular claw

trimming is a fundamental aspect of maintaining their health. However, most of the farmers especially the smallholder farmers in Egypt lack knowledge and access to suitable equipment and facilities for effective claw trimming and treatment. EBDA plans to establish a cattle treatment and claw trimming stand as a demo model to train its engineers as well as the farmers on cattle treatment and claw trimming.

Construction of a Learning Center for Biodynamic Preparations

Our partner association EBDA, with the support of the Organic Egypt project is developing a learning center for biodynamic preparations. The aim of this pilot project is to bring the activities of composting, animal husbandry and biodynamic preparations to the same place. To do that, a center that serves all the needs of making and storing these inputs and giving sessions on biodynamic principles, particularly preparations making, is being constructed. This center will be made of rammed earth, which is a technique for constructing foundations, floors,

and walls using compacted natural raw materials such as earth, chalk, lime, and gravel. Rammed earth is a very suitable material for the storage of the preparations in terms of temperature absorption and humidity during the whole year. Besides the storage room, where preparations are stored and exhibited, the center will contain another space dedicated to training sessions and containing the necessary knowledge material related to the preparation process. Also, the center is aimed to contain a garden for cultivating the plants necessary for the production of the biodynamic preparations.

TRAINING AND LEARNING MATERIAL CREATED WITH OUR PARTNERS

Recipe Videos for consumer awarenes

Organic Egypt in cooperation with RDNA Food store, is producing recipe videos to raise awareness on natural, local and organic food. This month, RDNA focused on recipes that help boost the immune system and overall health, especially at the beginning of the winter season. The recipes included a variety of nutrient-rich ingredients, such as veggie soup, Beetroot and tomato soup, and fermented honey garlic, which are known to have immune-boosting properties. Rdna also made a recipe video for the holiday season called “Salami Roses” which is super simple and very beautiful to add to your holiday appetizers.

Farmer Guide

Organic Egypt, together with RDNA Food store, started to develop a Farm Guide that gives consumers useful information and an overview of different farms in one booklet. The farms list will include Organic Egypt partner farms and other organic and clean farms in Egypt. The information presented will cover farming practices and available produce, as well as a brief history of 20 farms.

The goal is to foster transparency and connection between the consumer and farm and to market the farms to consumers. The booklet is planned to be finalized in May 2024 and will be available in printed and digital form.

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 December market was dedicated to Christmas time. It was an enjoyable experience with fresh local goods with families and live performances, festive bakeries, BBQ, live music, christmas carols and plenty of other kids-friendly activities. Additionally, different activities and Christmas gifts were distributed among participants and it was filled with lots of great conversations and discussions and tastings to bring consumers closer to producers and farmers.

Consumer Excursion

Consumer excursions are designed to bring consumers closer to farmers and producers. The excursion this December was organized to Sara’s Organic Farm on the Alexandria Desert Road close to Cairo. Sara’s Organic Farm delivers to customers, retailers, and the best hotels across Egypt. With the bold ambition of making clean and nutritious food accessible to all, the company sources both from its 972-acre farm and from small farmers across the country that follow the company’s guidelines for responsible and sustainable growth. The excursion focused on learning about the unique stories of the farm and interacting with farm animals and the soil in agricultural activities.

NETWORKING ACTIVITIES OF ORGANIC EGYPT PROJECT AND PARTNERS

Participation of EBDA in COP 28 in Dubai

Our partner EDBA participated in COP 28, this year's UN Climate Conference in Dubai. They attended a range of events in the Blue and Green Zones as well as various side events that took place around COP. Representatives of the partner association had the opportunity to speak with ministers and CEO’s senior management of global companies as well as indigenous leaders which inspired them very much.

As the local farmer association, EBDA has developed the Economy of Love (EoL) standard, aiming to strive for a holistic transformation of their farms and partner companies. The team engaged in meetings with policymakers to discuss and promote the concepts of the EoL and biodynamic agriculture as solutions for climate mitigation.