Feed the Future Egypt Rural Agribusiness Strengthening Project
Smallholder farmers in Egypt have been slow to transition from low-margin traditional crops to premium horticulture production, despite growing demand for fresh produce. Barriers range from fragmented supply chains and unfavorable financing to inefficient transport and logistics. Without a guaranteed buyer and necessary technical support, farmers are hesitant to risk growing an untested crop. The Feed the Future Egypt Rural Agribusiness Strengthening Project is a five-year project (2018–2023) that supports the development of a more inclusive horticulture market system in which farmers are better integrated into high-end markets. The Project fosters commercially-oriented linkages between buyers and producer organizations, and helps farmers, pack houses, and processors meet buyer requirements. Through these strengthened relationships and supply chains, the Project is increasing farmer incomes, creating sustainable jobs in agribusiness, and contributing to a more competitive and inclusive Egyptian economy through horticulture sector growth.
The Feed the Future Egypt Rural Agribusiness Strengthening Project is strengthening Egypt’s horticulture market system and improving the capacity of smallholder farmers and producer organizations, processors, and horticultural institutions to capitalize on opportunities to produce and sell differentiated, higher-value horticulture crops. These value chain improvements are increasing employment and raising incomes for vulnerable Egyptians while enhancing food security throughout the country.
Key Objectives and Approaches
Strengthen sustainable domestic and international market linkages. The Project is brokering partnerships between key buyers of horticultural products (both Egypt-based and international) and producer organizations that represent smallholder farmers. The Project uses fora like trade shows and partnerships with entities like the Chamber of Food Industries and the Food Export Council to link Egyptian producers with buyers and help those producers develop differentiated products and marketing strategies. Egyptian buyers—who normally work through traders and do not have insight into the source of the produce they purchase—are increasingly interested in forming strong relationships with producer organizations.
Improve post-harvest handling and storage. To develop a more efficient and profitable horticulture sector, it is vital to reduce post-harvest losses through better harvesting practices, effective packaging, and appropriate transportation and cold chain facilities. The Project is improving the management of packhouses and processing facilities to ensure optimal conditions, while facilitating access to training in improved harvesting and post-harvest handling for producer organizations.
Increase productivity of smallholder farmers and food processors. The Project facilitates producer organizations’ access to training in land preparation, water management, integrated pest management, and other good agricultural practices through networks of expert consultants, recent agricultural university graduates, private sector input suppliers, and buyers. This technical training and agricultural knowledge transfer is improving yields and increasing incomes across the Project’s 14 target governorates.
Improve nutritional status of women and children. Egypt faces a double burden of undernutrition (stunting) and overweight. Through networks of Community Nutrition Educators, the Project is providing training on diet diversity and household food budgeting to encourage better food choices and complement the increased availability of vegetables and fruits that the Project is facilitating.
The Feed the Future Egypt Rural Agribusiness Strengthening Project is managed by Abt Associates, in partnership with CID Consulting, the Global Cold Chain Alliance, J.E. Austin Associates, and 20/20 DC.
Technical briefs coming soon.