1st Networking Workshop for Boosting Organic Farming in Africa

About 40 participants from Organic agriculture institutions from Southern, Eastern, Western and Northern Africa and supporters from Europe recently got together on SEKEM Farm for 3 days in order to start working on Regional Knowledge Hubs for Organic Farming in Africa. The project is initiated and financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) and aims to build up four regional hubs in order to collect and share knowledge.

SEKEM is main partner

The first networking workshop aimed to bring together the different institutions working on Organic agriculture in Africa and discuss their characteristics, visions and strategies as well as the different challenges they face. SEKEM will be the main partner. “We are honoured to take the lead and looking forward to thereby shape a sustainable future,” declares Helmy Aboouleish, SEKEM CEO.

“Knowledge is head, hand, and heart.” Dorith V. Behaich, GIZ

“Knowledge is head, hand, and heart,” Dorith V. Behaich from GIZ stated. “Sharing the knowledge and the struggles is one important way for improvement, but that also needs to go hand in hand with hard work and determined action driven from true faith and conviction in the cause,” she further explained.

The workshop marked the start for building up Knowledge Hubs for Organic Agriculture in North, South, East and West Africa. SEKEM will be the main partner of the project.

Issues such as finding the most efficient tools to communicate with farmers, the limitations of platforms, language barriers or the market development were some of the challenges discussed. “We are activists in sustainable development and organic agriculture in Egypt already for a long time. We are now happy to take the next steps and work on this together with our partners in Africa,” says Helmy Abouleish.

Although this was only the first workshop, it became clear that it was an important first step towards a fruitful collaboration, built on a relationship of trust, seeking real improvement in the Organic farming field in Africa.

Nadine Greiss

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