Feed the Future Egypt Food Security and Agribusiness Support Project
Agriculture is a major component of the Egyptian economy, contributing up to 14.5 percent of GDP and 28 percent of all jobs, including 45 percent of all women in the workforce. The sector is dominated by small farms, which use traditional practices that do not comply with internationally recognized standards. As a result, farmers experience increased production costs, reduced yields, decreased soil fertility and limited marketing opportunities
The goal of Feed the Future Egypt Food Security and Agribusiness Support Project (FAS) is to increase incomes and improve food security for Upper Egyptian for at least 14,000 Upper Egyptian smallholder farmers across seven focal governorates – including Beni-Suef, Menia, Assiut, Sohag, Qena, Luxor, and Aswan. This project is aligned with the U.S. Global Food Security and Feed the Future (FtF) initiative’s objectives of reducing poverty and hunger by strengthening the horticulture value chain.
Over the course of five years, the project will demonstrate that it is economically and socially feasible to achieve sustained growth in the region through an agricultural value chain approach. This approach will improve horticulture productivity, access to markets, value-adding activities, and commercial linkages with input and service suppliers. Inclusive growth in the agricultural sector will increase incomes to smallholder farmers, leading to improved health and educational opportunities for women and youth as well as higher household purchasing power.
This project will utilize a market-driven systems-strengthening approach to improve the competitiveness of horticulture producers and related down-stream businesses and food processors by building their capacities to respond to demand from domestic and international buyers and fully meet their market requirements. Meeting the demands of the market will necessitate adoption of international food quality and safety standards for horticulture crops destined for both international and domestic markets, including food processors, supermarkets, and restaurant chains.The market-driven approach of the project is supported by four interrelated components:
- Improved on-farm production
- Efficient post-harvest processes, handling and storage
- Improved marketing of agriculture crops and products including Strengthen sustainable domestic and international market linkages; and
- Improved nutritional status, especially for women and children.
In addition to the major components, there are also a number of supporting cross cutting themes including systems strengthening for input suppliers; agriculture processors and support services; a focus on end markets and demand; an understanding of the role of value chain governance; a market systems perspective; recognition of the importance of inter-firm relationships and stakeholder participation; policy and enabling environment; gender inclusive; and leveraging proven ICT capabilities to bring interventions to scale.
Farmers from several associations have and will receive trainings and continuing technical assistance on using good agricultural practices for high-quality production. Topics covered under the trainings thus far have included: land preparation, fertilizing, integrated pest management, irrigation, seeds sowing, weeding and plant protection, including identifying and mitigating the effects of toxic weeds.
Additionally, in an effort to strengthen capacity of associations and cooperatives to work as market-driven organizations, FAS developed and conducted a negotiation skills training. The training helped lead farmers and boards of directors for cooperatives to better manage their negotiations with buyers and input suppliers and increase their communication with smallholder farmers.
Producers have and will participate in several trade shows to display their products in an effort to reach more buyers, cultivate business relationships and execute contracts for importing and exporting their Egyptian goods
- $5.75 million in matching grants disbursed leveraging at least $2.6 million in private matching investment
- A 12% annualized increase in incomes in net present value for over 14,000 horticulture-based smallholder farmers
- Up to 50% of increased yields of selected horticulture crops
- The introduction of 350 new contracts between horticulture smallholder farmers and market channels
- More than $1.5 million of new investment in women-owned agribusinesses and more than 50 Upper Egyptian agribusinesses adopting policies that promote inclusion of married women in the workplace
- Upwards of 36,000 farm families benefiting from nutrition-sensitive messaging