Cairo – Egyptian Food Bank, in collaboration with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), announced the renewal of their cooperation protocol, coinciding with the celebration of Farmer's Day on September 9th each year.

The cooperation protocol aims to expand the areas of agricultural technical support by enhancing farmers' knowledge and equipping them with modern agricultural methods. It also seeks to raise awareness about the importance of reducing  food waste and loss during the agricultural process, in addition to educating the community about the significant role of farmers in the food chain.

The renewal of the protocol was signed in the presence of Dr. Nasr El-Din Hajj, the representative of FAO in Egypt, and Mr. Mohsen Sarhan, the CEO of EFB, along with several small farmers affiliated with EFB andrepresentatives from FAO

The renewal of the protocol is part of the ongoing and mutual cooperation between EFB and FAO, which has included a partnership over the past two years in shedding the light on  food waste and food loss issue. Both parties are committed to continue raising awareness on food waste, food loss, rural and agriculture development, nutrition, poverty, and social protection through different formats. In addition, developing agricultural support methods, improving agricultural production, and supporting farmers through joint initiatives to enhance agricultural systems. They are also planning to collaborate  on various projects to benefit small-scale farmers, joining forces   in the "Zero hunger village" project in the New Valley (Wadi Gideed) Governorate, in corporation with the Ministry of Social Solidarity

The protocol involves the exchange of information and technical expertise in rural and agricultural development, addressing food loss and waste, social protection, food security, and poverty reduction. FAO will exchange technical guidelines with the EFB and organize a joint technical workshop to share lessons on the transformation of the food system in Egypt.  Morever, Design and implementation of projects and initiatives including livelihood interventions, community awareness and training activities in Egypt.  Lastly, knowledge and evidence generation to inform programmes, policies and projects in Egypt and other country contexts and enable progressive learning and process improvement.

Additionally, FAO will share the food safety standards and guidelines specific to EFB with trained producers within the organization. They will also collaborate on raising awareness about food loss and waste during the month of Ramadan. Furthermore, FAO will provide technical support in designing assessments of food security and nutrition in Egypt and assist in analyzing data related to various agricultural sectors in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Solidarity.

“We are so pleased with the signing of the cooperation protocol with EFB. It’s an organization that follows scientific methods and approaches in executing its activities for the benefit of beneficiaries, including farmers. These principles align with the working methods of the FAO,” said Dr. Nasr El-Din Hajj, representative of FAO in Egypt. “There is an opportunity for further collaboration between FAO and EFB regarding the development of a specific geographic area, namely, the Farafra. This collaboration aims to promote agricultural development, empower small farmers, and enhance their ability to adopt good and modern agricultural practices, ultimately improving their livelihoods and the rural community as a whole. EFB will employ methods to measure the quality and quantity of nutrition produced in this region to carry out activities that are tailored to the community, raise the standard of living, and ensure food safety, all with the goal of eliminating hunger in this area.”

“The general strategy of EFB encompasses several pillars, including the empowerment pillar. Through this collaboration with FAO, we have worked on raising awareness about smallholder farmers importance in the food value chain.  . FAO has developed their working mechanisms, and provided them with training to adopt the latest technological systems in various agricultural fields, thus improving agricultural productivity. This, in turn, benefits these farmers and enhances our activities in providing food to those in need by securing higher yields,” said Mohsen Sarhan, CEO of EFB. “ Partnering with FAO, being a global institution, contributes to elevating our status and continuing support for farmers. Additionally, it works towards increasing societal awareness regarding the issue of food waste.”

The support provided by EFB to small-scale farmers falls under the empowerment pillar, through which EFB aims to enhance the capabilities and opportunities of beneficiaries. This empowerment enables them to confront life's challenges and achieve economic stability. It does so by creating real employment opportunities that help individuals break free from the cycle of poverty, ultimately leading to a dignified and secure livelihood.

EFB has signed contracts with the Agricultural Association, the Fagr Gideed  Association, as well as small-scale farmers in Al-Beheira Governorate, specifically in Hosh Issa Center, to support and empower these farmers. The goal is to increase agricultural productivity, providing opportunities for 350 small-holding farmers, covering 700 acres of white bean crops. Contracts have also been signed with Ahl Baladi Association and AlMostaqabl Association in the village of Al-Jaafra in Aswan to produce 500 tons of dates from 17,000 date palms, involving 500 small-scale farmers. This program aims to generate profits for small-scale farmers by providing technical support to enhance the agricultural value chain, along with services related to agricultural inputs, production stages, manufacturing, and marketing. This effort contributes to driving the economy, improving the social situation, and creating green job opportunities for young people.