Newsletter Volume 34 – March 2024

WELCOME TO ORGANIC EGYPT NEWSLETTER! 

Volume 34

Dear Reader, 

This is volume number 34 of Organic Egypt project newsletter. It reviews our activities in March 2024 and illustrates all interventions conducted with our partners, the Integral Development Action of Minia (IDAM) and the Egyptian Biodynamic Association (EBDA).

Ramadan Kareem! We wish you all a blessed month filled with peace, reflection, and spiritual growth.

We hope you enjoy the read!

TRAININGS AND WORKSHOPS FOR PARTNER ASSOCIATIONS

Training on Organic Vegetable Production

Organic Egypt conducted a three day training for the partner association, IDAM on organic vegetable production. The first day addressed the steps of onion production in old and new reclaimed soils, biological control of onion pests and diseases as well as its harvesting. The second day targeted the preparation of potato seeds for summer and winter cultivation and the environmental conditions affecting potato production. On the final day, the instructor explained the same procedures but for tomato production. The training aimed to equip IDAM with the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable organic vegetable production practices among its members.

Training on Organic Poultry Production

Organic Egypt organized a three day training for the partner association EBDA on organic poultry production. The training covered topics such as feed formulation and disease management. Additionally, the trainer focused on explaining the housing conditions and features of organic poultry farming systems. Participants were given hands-on experience in setting up and managing a small-scale organic poultry farm, they 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

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 construction is to expand the area of the preparations and bring the activities of composting, animal husbandry, and biodynamic preparations to the same place. In recent updates, the construction is almost finished and is expected to be fully operational in May this year. It has a special focus on using compacted natural raw materials such as earth, chalk, lime, and gravel. The learning center will also offer workshops and training sessions to educate farmers and interested individuals on the benefits and techniques of biodynamic farming. Additionally, it will serve as a hub for research and experimentation in the field of sustainable agriculture.

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 March, RDNA focused on two different recipes that were mainly made for the holy fasting month of Ramadan. The first one is "Madjool Date Pudding," which is a delicious recipe for Iftar and Suhoor. The second recipe is "Heart Shaped Dates," which is a simple and perfect dessert for gifting and family gatherings during Ramadan. Both recipes highlight the importance of eating dates as a traditional and nutritious food during Ramadan while also promoting the benefits of using organic and locally sourced ingredients.

EDUCATIONAL AND AWARENESS RAISING CAMPAIGNS

Organic Ambassador program in Minia

With the support of Organic Egypt project, our partner IDAM developed the “Organic Ambassador Program”, which is a community-based initiative aimed at bridging the gap between rural and urban youth in Minia. This month, IDAM organized a two-day workshop aimed at enhancing the capabilities of volunteers in the Ambassador program. This workshop was designed for capacity building, empowering volunteers with the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to excel in their roles. The workshop covered interactive topics including enhancing self-confidence, barriers to effective communication, and diversity in community engagements. Participants gained invaluable insights and practical tools to enhance their performance as volunteers at the Ambassadors programme.

NETWORKING ACTIVITIES OF ORGANIC EGYPT PROJECT AND PARTNERS

Meeting with the Director of the Central Lab of Organic Agriculture (CLOA)

Organic Egypt team members had a meeting with the director of CLOA, Dr. Maisa Lotfy, at the CLOA office in Giza, Cairo. The discussion was about building channels of communication

and networking with the government to promote sustainable agriculture practices and organic farming in Egypt. The meeting focused on the potential for collaboration between Organic Egypt and CLOA in implementing awareness raising videos and campaigns regarding the organic law and its regulation. Dr. Maisa expressed interest in the ideas presented by Organic Egypt's team and agreed to prepare the necessary documents for the awareness raising videos and the campaigns.

Cooperation between India and Egypt in adopting Natural Farming Method

Organic Egypt, with the partner  EBDA, traveled to Delhi and Bangaluru, India to exchange knowledge on natural farming methods and the Economy of Love standard. The aim of this visit was to elaborate, how the natural farming approach can be adapted to the Egyptian context, and how the Economy of Love standard can be adapted to the Indian context. The visit was scheduled for 5 days, where field visits, meetings and interactive sessions with farmers and farmer associations were conducted. It was a very successful visit with future plans on cooperation and research trials in both countries.

Networking with the Partners and Ramadan Iftar

The Organic Egypt project conducted a Ramadan Iftar with its partner association. The day was very special as it provided an opportunity for everyone to come together and share precious time, enjoying the team building activities and productive meetings held among the team members and partner associations about the planned training programs for the agricultural extension engineers and what is planned this year regarding the advocacy strategy. Ramadan Iftar was an open buffet made with organic products and healthy recipes that characterized different kinds of green salads, soups, healthy main dishes, and delicious desserts. Overall, the event was a great success in fostering unity and friendship among all participants.