Newsletter Volume 33 – February 2024

WELCOME TO ORGANIC EGYPT NEWSLETTER! 

Volume 33

Dear Reader, 

This is volume number 33 of Organic Egypt project newsletter. It reviews our activities in February 2024 and illustrates all interventions conducted with our partners, the Integral Development Action of Minia (IDAM) and the Egyptian Biodynamic Association (EBDA).

We hope you enjoy the read!

TRAININGS AND WORKSHOPS FOR PARTNER ASSOCIATIONS

Training on Organic Poultry Keeping

Organic Egypt organized a three day training for the partner association IDAM on organic poultry production. The first day addressed the main topics related to organic poultry production, such as feed requirements, housing conditions, and features of organic poultry farming systems. The second day focused on practical exercises and demonstrations of the local breeds, the selection demonstrations of the local breeds, the selection of breeds, herd composition, and their characteristics. On the final day of the training, participants learned how to maintain a healthy environment and how to prevent diseases by using natural remedies made out of herbs like chamomile and black seeds as prevention and treatment measures.

NEW INNOVATIVE SERVICES OF OUR PARTNER ASSOCIATIONS

Implementation of the Performance Calculator in Egypt

Our partner association EBDA in close cooperation with Regionalwert GmbH, has been working since July 2022 on tailoring the performance calculator to the Egyptian context and making the socio-economic and ecological performance of EBDA members more visible. The Performance Calculator is generating a sustainability report on the farm performance, and is moreover providing a monetary value of the ecosystem services, like biodiversity conservation, carbon sequestration, increasing soil fertility and climate resilience that the farmers are providing by using regenerative, organic and biodynamic practices. The calculator was already tested on 11 EBDA farms in 2022 and adapted in 2023. In the beginning of this year, the adapted indicators are being tested on 10 farms and the tool will be translated into Arabic language. After that, gradually all EBDA members will be included in the performance tool. 

This performance calculator is intended to provide long-term support for the validation and verification of EBDA work and efforts.

Soil and Water Analysis Lab for IDAM Members

Our partner association, IDAM, began establishing a laboratory for soil and water analysis in 2020 with the aim of helping smallholder farmers conduct affordable soil analysis, learn about their soil properties and the nutrients they need, as well as providing the necessary recommendations to improve the properties of their lands.

However, the laboratory was not fully equipped, and with the support of the Organic Egypt Project, the remaining necessary equipment and tools to run the lab was purchased. Through this laboratory, farmers are able to make informed decisions on fertilization and irrigation practices to optimize their agricultural production.

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 about natural, local, and organic food. This month, RDNA focused on two different recipes. The first recipe featured an Egyptian traditional recipe called "Ol'as," which is commonly eaten on the coptic Eid Al-Ghitas, also known as Epiphany, which is a special coptic feast. The second recipe was "Citrusy Ginger Immunity Booster", which is a juicy mixture of ginger, lemons, grapefruit, and oranges that is perfect for combating colds and boosting the immune system. These recipe videos aim to showcase the benefits of incorporating organic and locally sourced ingredients into everyday meals for a healthier lifestyle.

Awareness Raising Videos

RDNA and Organic Egypt collaborated to showcase local small-scale producers who are all about making clean, natural, regional, and organic products. This February, the story of the producer, Dr. Yehia Abd El-Ghany, founder of Life Fountain & Dr. Bee, was captured in the easy-to-watch series “RDNA Conversations." Dr. Yehia Abd El-Ghany shared his journey of creating beehive products such as honey, pollen, beeswax, and royal jelly. He established the company in 2021, and is devoted to spreading awareness about natural honey production and its benefits. The series aimed to highlight the journey and passion behind these unique products.

EDUCATIONAL AND AWARENESS RAISING CAMPAIGNS

Consumer Excursion

Consumer excursions are designed to bring consumers closer to farmers and producers. The excursion this February was organized at Hazel Farm on the Alexandria Desert Road in Menoufia Governorate, a farm for vegetables and fruits cultivated in an agroecological way. The programme included a farm tour, a tractor ride, and harvesting crops and plants using farm tools. The participants experienced hands-on activities like planting pots of lettuce and pepper plants.  There was a play area for the kids and a delicious vegetarian meal made from the fresh produce of the farm. The excursion provided a unique opportunity for consumers to learn about sustainable farming practices and connect with the source of their food in a fun and interactive way.

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 February market was dedicated to Valentine's Bazaar, where visitors could find unique handmade gifts for their loved ones. They experienced live music, BBQ, and a special menu that opened the visitor's heart to a day filled with warmth and joy. Additionally, there were different activities, such as making Valentine's decor with citrus peels such as lemons and oranges, it was very easy and beautiful to create. The decor added a festive touch to the atmosphere of the house. That was perfect for the Valentine's Day celebration.

NETWORKING ACTIVITIES OF ORGANIC EGYPT PROJECT AND PARTNERS

BIOFACH 2024

Organic Egypt team together with its strategic partner Rdna, had the opportunity to participate at BIOFACH 2024 in Nürnberg, which is the biggest exhibition for organic products worldwide. The chances for networking with international stakeholders and like minded people are significant. The team attended a lot of scheduled meetings and sessions, which displayed many interesting and informative topics related to advocacy for the organic industry and sustainable agriculture. They conducted meetings with IFOAM, BÖLW and FIBL representatives to discuss strategies on how to strengthen the organic market in Egypt.

The Agriculture Conference 2024 at Goetheanum

Our partner association, EBDA, participated in the Agriculture Conference 2024 at Goetheanum in Switzerland. The three day conference included different workshops covering many topics related to the biodynamic approach in agricultural practices. The workshop was attended by many representatives of the demeter associations worldwide, providing a valuable opportunity for networking and knowledge sharing among experienced individuals in the field. Additionally, it included hands-on activities and practical demonstrations to enhance understanding of biodynamic farming techniques. It was a fruitful journey filled with enlightening discussions.