Global Agriculture

Director-General visits project sites in Egypt

02 March 2024, Cairo: QU Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), made a field visit to one of FAO’s projects to empower rural women in Sheikh Masoud village about 200 kilometers south of Cairo. 

The FAO delegation visited Minya Governorate, where 80 percent of the population is rural and farming of sugarcane, cotton, beans and vegetables account for a significant source of livelihoods.

Accompanied by Nevine El Kabban, Egypt’s Minister for Social Solidarity, and Ossama El Kadi, Governor of Minya, the FAO delegation visited a horticultural business site at a village where FAO has led efforts to improve the food security of vulnerable rural women and their households by distributing livestock and dairy processing kits, establishing training plots, greenhouses for joint use, and setting up a Farmer Field School network led by female master trainers. Some 2 9212 households benefited from the $2.17 million project funded by Canada.

FAO’s Director-General later met with beneficiaries and other stakeholders in another local project, funded by Japan, designed to contribute to reducing rural poverty and building resilience of vulnerable farming families through improved utilization of water for agriculture and other productivity-boosting initiatives.

The various interventions, also structured around extensive use of Farmer Field Schools, aims to achieve roughly 20 percent improvements in water use efficiency, crop yields and household income.

Qu, with FAO Deputy Director-General Maurizio Martina, later visited El Sheikh Masood village to inspect dairy production units. They learned about the efforts of the women farmers to grow new crops in their region and start animal production projects to increase their income after obtaining appropriate training.

The Director General tasted traditional Egyptian bread during his tour and chatted to a number of male and female farmers. In his public remarks he said that rural women play a key role in improving livelihoods and food security and contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, adding that respect for women is a manifestation of civilization.

He reiterated that FAO will continue to work closely with the Government of Egypt and partners to transform agrifood systems and achieve the four betters.

Also Read: Sowing Seeds of Change: Empowered Women Cultivate a New Era in Agriculture

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