Egypt's Rural Economy

Million farmers in Egypt

Of the cultivated land in small holdings of less than 5 acres
50% +

Of Egypt's economy: agribusiness ecosystem

Agriculture cooperatives

NGOs involved in agriculture

The agrifood sector represents 50%+ of the Egyptian economy and Egyptians livelihoods, together with largest MSMEs component and poorest segments of the population, whereas small holdings represent 70%+ of arable lands in Egypt, and a market segment of 7 million farmers of which 35%+ are women.

Operating within the Ministry of Agriculture & Land Reclamation holistic scheme

  • Integration of the NGOs in the National Agriculture Strategy
    “Establishing linkages between the ministry’s research centers and other research institutes and civil society associations, and involving all institutions and organizations in developing research plans, their execution and follow-up, as well as applying research results.”
    (Strategic Agricultural Strategy 2010-2030 paragraph
  • The Small Farmers Market-Driven Production Strategy
    “Improvement of markets is challenging due to the multiplicity of involved organizations at the village level, middlemen, land fragmentation and weak infrastructure. The link between farms, markets and the marketing system as a whole is required.”
    “The Plan recognizes the pull effect of perishable horticultural products & special assessment of domestic and export markets if exports of crops and products are to be promoted (e.g. fruits and vegetables, etc.). Assessing export market potential followed by targeted prioritization and increased production is the logical approach, i.e. demand-driven approach.”
    (Sustainable Agricultural Overview: Business Plan Overview 2010/2011 – 2016/2017)

Applying business management methods to the set-up of the small farmers marketing network:

  • Present supply chain monopolized by traders which secure all the functions: collection, delivery and finance, etc… thus to empower small farmers, there is a need to deconstruct these functions into a series of independent players and train small farmers, their Coops/NGOs to manage these alternative supply chains;
  • Establish and institutionalize an independent facilitator body in charge of both promoting small farmers to market buyers community as well as to support development of alternative supply chain schemes at local level, based on the needs of the range of market buyers;
  • Feature each player in the horticulture value chain with the focus on the qualified small farmers and their corresponding Coops/NGOs, to portray a comprehensive Egyptian horticultural offering and be able to respond to all types of market buyers needs, whereas the mapping of the market buyers indicated the need to supply the whole range of products.