Training for Organic Agriculture Students at SEKEM Farm

In April, the first students of the Faculty of Organic Agriculture at Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development spent two weeks on SEKEM’s farm for practical training of the Biodynamic course by two european instructors to familiarize with the different plants, soils, compost, landscapes and even astrology.

The 27 students were very excited to be in the live environment of the farm and to bring the theory into practice. Every semester they have a 2 weeks module of Biodynamic agriculture on the farm to dive deeply into nature! From milking cows to sowing and harvesting – they took the opportunity to experience all aspects of the life of farmers, even after their training course.

The biodynamic course on SEKEM Farm

What’s Different from Every Other University

Every student started the course by giving a presentation on what he had learned and experienced in the last semester. Starting from the various plants they had studied, to the making of a specific type of compost, they then were introduced to other types and more plants, and for the first time they got insights to astrology and its effects on agriculture. “I’m very excited about the teaching methods of Heliopolis University. Having access to the farm and the university campus forms perfect grounds for learning through practice and experience,” says Saed Safwat, one of the Faculty of Organic Agriculture students. “But what was truly surprising and impressive was the Core Program! I can speak on behalf of all my fellow students, who, I’m sure, enjoy it as much as I do.”

The Core Program is an obligatory module of each faculty at the Heliopolis University and includes, in particular, artistic and social science subjects in order to support students to unfold their individual potential. The program isn’t only designed for the students but also for the entire university’s staff.

Students on the field, familiarizing with the different plants.

The Experience of Cultural Diversity

Another experience the students enjoy is the cultural diversity and international spirit they encounter in SEKEM and Heliopolis University. Last October, two Doctor Professors from Switzerland were leading the training course and this semester the two agricultural experts Peter Kunz from Switzerland and Jean-Michel Florin from France have been invited to host the training.

This different educational approaches and diversity are to help shape leaders of the future who take initiative and play a part in shaping an organic future for Egypt. The new Faculty of Organic Agriculture is contributing to the SEKEM Vision Goal “100% Organic Agriculture in Egypt until 2057.”

Nadine Greiss

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