Through the Egypt Rural Agribusiness Strengthening activity, USAID helps farmers in Upper Egypt and the Delta become more self-reliant and grow marketable crops that meet international standards for export. Under the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future, Egyptian farmers and food processors are establishing connections to domestic and international markets, gaining access to finance, and increasing their adherence to food and safety practices. Additionally, the activity assists Egyptian agribusinesses in modernizing their food technology and delivery systems by upgrading processing facilities, refrigeration trucks, and water-efficient irrigation systems. This activity builds on USAID’s previous investments in Egypt’s agricultural sector, including in irrigation infrastructure, establishment of agricultural associations, and training programs to help farmers transition from traditional staple crops to high-value horticulture.

  • Implementing Partner: ABT Associates
  • Life of Activity: August 2018 – December 2023
  • Total Estimated Cost: $36.3 million
  • Governorates: Alexandria, Assiut, Aswan, Beheira, Beni Suef, Cairo, Dakahlia, Giza, Gharbia, Ismailia, Luxor, Menoufia, Minya, Qalyoubia, Qena, Sharkia, and Sohag

The Challenge

Growing demand for fresh and processed fruits and vegetables has enabled Egypt to solidify its presence in quality-conscious markets in Europe, the Gulf and sub-Saharan Africa. However, smallholder farmers in Upper Egypt—which benefits from fertile soil, good water quality and an early growing season—have been slow to exploit these trends. They hesitate to transition from low-margin traditional crops into higher-value, premium horticulture production. Barriers range from fragmented supply chains and unfavorable financing to inefficient transport and logistics systems.

The Approach

Abt supports development of an inclusive horticulture market system in Upper Egypt that integrates smallholder farmers into high-end local and international markets using a buyer-led approach. Abt helps buyers connect with smallholder farmer suppliers who are part of producer organizations and supports farmers’ efforts to meet requirements for quality, quantity and timeliness. Abt’s capacity building extends to pack houses and processors who seek to upgrade their operations. Partnerships with agricultural universities and technical schools help build the next generation’s agricultural workforce.

The Results

The project will benefit small farmers and Egypt’s horticulture industry as a whole. Through these interventions, Abt will enable market actors to improve their response to domestic and international demands. The project will decrease time-to-market and costs by facilitating access to improved supply chain infrastructure. This will ultimately improve the industry’s competitiveness. By the end of five years, the project will:

  • Increase average incomes for 120,000 small farmers
  • Double the incomes of a minimum of 25,000 small farmers.
  • Create 12,000 sustainable jobs in agri-businesses.
  • Improve agricultural water-use efficiency over 22,000 hectares.
  • Leverage $10 million dollars through partnerships with Egyptian firms and agricultural organizations.
NO Comment 20th November 2019

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