Newsletter Volume 32 – January 2024

WELCOME TO ORGANIC EGYPT NEWSLETTER! 

Volume 32

Dear Reader, 

This is volume number 32 of Organic Egypt project newsletter. It reviews our activities in January 2024 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 Evaluating Social Programs with J-PAL MENA

Representatives of Organic Egypt and its partner associations attended a three-day training about the Evaluation of Social Programs which was organized by J-PAL MENA at the American University in Cairo. This three-day, in-person training course provided the participants with

resources and knowledge to engage with impact evaluations of social programs. Strategic government partners and representatives of NGOs, international organizations, and foundations attended this training course that covered various topics such as randomized evaluations, data collection methods, and impact measurement techniques. Participants had the opportunity to learn from experienced trainers and engage in hands-on activities to enhance their understanding of evaluating social programs. This training aimed to equip attendees with the necessary skills and tools to effectively assess the impact of social programs and make informed decisions for future interventions.

Training on Biological Control

Organic Egypt organized a three-day training for the partner association EBDA, about biological control. The first day of training was organized to explain the value of biological control in agriculture and how it benefits humans and the environment. On the second day of training, participants learned about different methods of biological control, such as the use of beneficial insects and microorganisms. They were also taught how to identify common predators used in biological control as well as what qualities those predators should have. The last day of the training, the engineers visited the predators lab of the EBDA to observe the practical application of the techniques they had learned. They were able to see firsthand how beneficial insects and microorganisms are bred and released into agricultural fields to control pests. Additionally, they had the opportunity to learn how to use biological control in the Egyptian agriculture sector.

Training on Organic Weed Management

Organic Egypt project organized a three-day training module entitled “Organic Weed Management” for its partner IDAM. The training included a visit to organic anise and coriander demo-plot field where the trainees have a full overview on different agricultural practices involved during the organic cultivation of the two

plants. The training addressed the best practices for weed management according to organic agriculture, including the use of mechanical and biological methods to control weeds without the use of synthetic herbicides. Participants learned about crop rotation techniques, mulching, and companion planting as effective strategies to suppress weed growth and maintain soil health. Additionally, the training emphasized the importance of early detection and prevention of weed infestations to ensure the success of organic farming practices. 

The training was very interactive and engaging, as the participants had the opportunity to ask questions, share their experience and concerns. 

NEW INNOVATIVE SERVICES OF OUR PARTNER ASSOCIATIONS

Production and expansion of native chicken breeds

IDAM with the support of Organic Egypt, started the pilot project of producing and distributing native chicken breeds in Minia. IDAM announced that there has been a remarkable success in breeding pure Fayoumi chickens in the past couple of months, the enthusiastic response from female farmers has been truly inspiring, leading IDAM and us to expand our efforts on a larger scale. The next ambitious step involves breeding a substantial flock of Fayoumi chickens, with the aim of spreading this success throughout Minia. The project aims to not only increase the population of native chicken breeds but also empower female farmers in the region. By providing a sustainable source of income for these women and contributing to the overall development of the community.

Economy of Love Carbon Credit (EoL CC)

EBDA is continuously developing the EoL process and EoL consultation within the association. This month, the EoL website was updated by adding a live chat that is both convenient and interactive for the users and will make it easier for anyone to ask questions related to Eol activities and services and get immediate assistance and support. The live chat feature will provide real-time responses from knowledgeable representatives, ensuring

a seamless user experience, fostering a stronger sense of community within the EoL platform and aligning with the EoL mission and vision to create collaboration and transparency with producers and consumers.

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. This January, RDNA focused on recipes that were easy, inexpensive, healthy, and ideal for the winter season. The first one was "Hummus El-Sham," which is the iconic Egyptian winter recipe that is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients. The second recipe was "Red Lentil Tofu," a hearty and protein-rich dish that is perfect for vegetarians and vegans. Additionally, RDNA made two recipe videos they called "Farm to Fork", which were shooted at one of EBDA members farms. The dishes were made from the harvested vegetables on the farm like freshly picked green peas, tomatoes, beetroot, cauliflower, arugula, Batavia lettuce, broccoli, red cabbage, fennel, and green onion. This hands-on experience allowed a deeper connection to the earth and appreciation of the vibrant flavors and nutritional benefits of organic farming while fostering a deeper connection with our food sources.

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. This month, the story of the producer Sama Moustafa, founder of Olivador Nature Kingdom was captured in the easy-to-watch series of “RDNA Conversations”. Olivador Nature Kingdom produces dried snacks and superfoods. Sama Moustaf shared insights about the process of fruit drying and explained how the dehydration process helps to preserve the nutrients and flavors of the fruits, making them a healthy and convenient snack option.

EDUCATIONAL AND AWARENESS RAISING CAMPAIGNS

Organic Ambassador Program in Minia

With the support of the Organic Egypt project, IDAM developed the “Organic Ambassador Program”, which is a grassroots advocacy initiative aimed at bridging the gap between rural and urban youth in Minia. The aim of the initiative is to bring youth from villages together with youth from the city of Minia and promote connection, mutual acceptance, and understanding. The initiative creates a unique space for these young people to coexist and explore agricultural and environmental issues together. Through educational activities and workshops, participants will gain valuable insights into sustainable practices and, together with a coordinator, implement projects on agricultural and environmental topics. The acquired knowledge will be passed on to their communities to create a more resilient and environmentally conscious society. The programme started in November 2023 and will run for one year.

NETWORKING ACTIVITIES OF ORGANIC EGYPT PROJECT AND PARTNERS

Participation in the planning workshop for the Special Initiative Project for upscaling EoL

Organic Egypt participated in the planning workshop of the new Special Initiative project (SI) of its partner association EBDA. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) with the objective to build a sustainable and strong agricultural sector in Egypt by providing higher-value employment within the Economy of Love activities. The project is implemented by the German partners "Educational institute of the Bavarian Economy" (bbw GmbH) and the "Partner of German Business" (sequa gGmbH). The planning workshop was conducted to reach a shared understanding for all stakeholders on the project goal, objectives and indicators and discuss how to reach the ambitious goal of hiring 160 new staff professionals and introducing 3,500 workers to decent employment conditions. With all attendees, key objectives, indicators and activities were discussed and a plan for the project duration (01.11.2023 - 31.10.2026) was set.