Within the framework of the permanent and continuous support of Food for the Future – the project to enhance agricultural business in the Egyptian countryside for small farmers funded by the United States Agency for International Development and seeking to strengthen the marketing capabilities of farmers, the Egyptian Food Bank signed today three agreements with three agricultural associations producing dates in Upper Egypt, in order to achieve the vision of The bank aimed at empowering small farmers and increasing their income.
Food for the Future – Rural Egypt Agribusiness Enhancement Project is a USAID-funded project that aims to advance the horticultural sector, make it more competitive in local and global markets, and improve the competitiveness of horticultural growers by adopting a market-led approach. The project will eventually create a more competitive and inclusive Egyptian economy through the growth of the horticultural sector, with a special focus on providing employment and income generation for small farmers.
In this regard, the project leader, Dr. Walid Salam, said that strengthening the marketing capabilities of small farmers is a major priority in the project’s agenda, and added that we are keen to direct small farmers through agricultural associations towards high-value, high-return markets, by providing opportunities Training and organizing meetings of marketing links between many private sector companies and agricultural associations.
Mr. Mohsen Sarhan, CEO of the Egyptian Food Bank stated that the project objectives are well aligned with the efforts and vision of the Food Bank towards supporting food security in Egypt, including the implementation of economic empowerment projects for small farmers in several governorates, where the agreement serves as a real application to implement a package of activities that It aims to address the main challenges facing small farmers in Egypt; They represent a large percentage of the eligible database of the Egyptian Food Bank.
Under the three agreements, three agricultural associations will supply quantities of dates in the next two years, from February to April 2023, and from January to March 2024. Two associations in Aswan – the Al-Jaafara Association and the Future Association – will supply 200 tons of dates with the participation of 253 small farmers. In Qena, Ahl Baladi Association will supply 150 tons of dates with the participation of 109 small farmers.
The food bank will provide farmers, during production and post-harvest periods, with the tools to pack and store dates. In turn, the associations will distribute agricultural supplies and agricultural inputs and supervise the implementation of the fertilization program, as well as follow up on the implementation of the terms of the agreement.
For his part, Dr. Mohamed Al-Qarmani, Head of the Research Laboratory Sector at the Egyptian Food Bank, stated that the coordination between the Project to Strengthen Agribusiness in the Egyptian Rural for Small Farmers and the Egyptian Food Bank is a strong opportunity to support small farmers, to increase the productivity of agricultural lands, improve the quality of crops, reduce production costs and reduce losses. Crops during harvest and post-harvest periods, who added that the first phase of cooperation between the two parties aims to improve the cultivation of dates in Egypt, and stressed that consultations are underway to target other crops in the future.