Upper Egypt.. The land beyond the temples

Development is about adaptation and innovation, and with that comes poverty reduction. The problem with the poor communities of developing countries, especially the rural ones, is that they are still stuck in a time capsule, all the while their population is growing and natural resources are diminishing. Fortunately, there are many ways to overcome these problems. Unfortunately though, the snag is in introducing them to new methods; i.e. getting them to adapt to innovative solutions.

NGOs play an evidently important role in the development of poor communities in the developing world. ENID is an example of an effectively successful program that contributes with creating more job opportunities and supporting food production and security in rural Upper Egypt.  ENID’s “Sustainable Agricultural Development” program, led by Dr. Dyaa Abdou, is one that focuses on promoting agricultural development. It works to increase the utilization efficiency of scarce natural resources as well as building the capacity of both the rural youth and women to produce and innovate.

The Sustainable Agricultural Development program supports a number of activities that aim at developing the agricultural environment and build the capacity of both the rural people as well as NGOs and governmental sectors to work together. Dr. Abdou highlights the main activities and how they are expected to benefit and up the welfare of Upper Egypt’s rural community. These include:

Integrated Fish Farms

These farms depend on solar power units to extract underground water. The integrated aspect to them emanates from the various agricultural activities hosted on the farms; including food and feed plantations, livestock, recycling agricultural waste to produce organic compost and finally producing Bio Gas to satisfy local needs for electricity/power (e.g. light, heat, cooking… etc.).

Dairy Processing Plants

This project contributes to creating job opportunities for women, increasing income and food security.

Recycling Agricultural waste & Solar Energy procurement

ENID also embarks on the untapped potential of recycling of agricultural waste and solar energy in rural Upper Egypt; given its geological location and nature.

Household level projects

Along with the creation of job opportunities, comes the need for skilled labor. However, what about rural women and poor uneducated families? Another important activity that ENID’s Sustainable Agricultural Development supports is encouraging rural women to engage in illiteracy eradication, general health and child care programs. In return, ENID provides these families with an economic incentive; by engaging them in small “backyard” projects that helps them become more self-sufficient, secure and independent. These projects include Roof Gardens, Dairy production and Poultry production.

To sum it all up, here’s what ENID has to say about this program –in a nutshell…

The major objective of the Sustainable Agricultural Development Program is to contribute to achieving sustainable agricultural development as an important component of integrated rural development, with a focus on income generating activities and employment, to simultaneously face the challenges of food and nutrition security and reducing poverty.”

Read more: Program C: Sustainable Agricultural Development and Off Farm Income

Watch interview video with Dr. Dyaa Abdou (Arabic)

Dr. Dyaa Abdou, Sustainable Agricultural Development Program Manager, ENID
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