Dutch companies display solutions for climate-smart farming in Egypt
A group of 11 Dutch companies visited Egypt earlier this year to explore opportunities for climate-smart agriculture. This ‘Inspiration and Knowledge-sharing tour’ was organized by the Netherlands-African Business Council (NABC), on behalf of RVO and the Netherlands embassy in Cairo.
All participants of the tour are active in the fields of irrigation and innovative, climate-resistant agriculture, including desalination. The programme had been initiated by LAN-team of the Netherlands embassy in Cairo, that felt this visit, despite the pandemic, was crucial in order to kick-start the business relations between the two countries; an opportunity to explore opportunities for Dutch and Egyptian partnership to find solutions to Egypt’s challenges to farm in a rapidly changing climate.
The three-day programme kicked off with company visits, ensuring participants immediately got a good understanding of the reality on the ground. The second day was dedicated to visiting the Sahara Expo, one of the largest agricultural trade fairs in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. At the Sahara Expo, the Dutch companies showcased their solutions and shared their knowledge during a hybrid seminar, which was moderated by Peter Prins of Land, Water & Food Consult. Mr. Prins co-organized this mission together with the NABC, which organized its 75th anniversary last month.
Over 50 participants joined the Dutch seminar, which was also attended by a few dozen viewers who followed the live-stream of the event. A full recording can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnkdNVlGuAY
The programme was highly appreciated by the participating companies. Nearly all of them indicated in a survey that they expected to engage in business with the companies that were met during the visit. Mr. Coen Everts, who represents East-West Seed, commented:
“The mission was above expectation. We realized that there are many more smallholders active in the Nile Delta than we previously thought. These contacts will almost certainly lead to business for us.”
“These companies have knowledge and expertise that can contribute to sustainable and inclusive agriculture. I hope we can maintain this momentum to mobilize an impact coalition for climate smart agriculture.” , Dr. Melle Leenstra, Agricultural Counsellor Egypt and Jordan.
A potential follow-up could be the setting up of a demonstration farm, showcasing Dutch expertise, technologies and products. There is potential for 2 different pilots: one within a large commercial farm and one pilot within Mozare3 or a project of Care Egypt, targeting small-holder farmers.
The pilot in the large commercial farm in the “new land” could focus on:
• Improving the (natural) resilience of salt affected soils
• Pilots on implementation of various CSA techniques to design resilient soft fruit value chains (such as blue berries, strawberries, raspberries)
• Introduction of innovative soil tests and systems of certified quality control
The pilot with Mozare3 /Care Program could focus on small-holders in the Nile valley of delta on:
• Irrigation techniques
• Different seeds
• Second hand machinery
• Soil improvement and testing, and improvement of fertilization strategies
For the report of the visit, please check this link
For a brochure with the participating companies, check this link