Wheat from the Desert

In May 2023 SEKEM collected the first harvest of wheat at the SEKEM Wahat Farm. The experiment of growing wheat on a total area of 50 feddan (21 ha) brought very good results. The harvest collected was about 1.5 ton per feddan (3.6 ton/ha), which is very satisfactory for the first time. 

The first wheat harvest on the SEKEM Wahat Desert Farm

The recent growing prices for wheat, caused by the Russian-Ukranian war, made Egypt intensify the local production of this crop. In 2022 the Egyptian government provided more land for wheat cultivation and also raised the prices for wheat paid to Egyptian farmers to encourage them to grow more of it. This is intended to reduce Egypt’s high dependence on expensive imports.

With proper planning and management wheat can be cultivated in the desert as it does not consume much water. Currently, the prices for wheat continue to grow at the Egyptian market, so it is an economically-feasible crop to cultivate. From the farming perspective, wheat is great to use in annual crop rotation, as it helps to control weeds and improve soil quality. Currently, the total area of land cultivated with wheat in Egypt is around 3.2 million feddans. The harvest will last till the end of August and is predicted to be one of the richest, according to the head of the Egyptian Farmers Syndicate Hussein Abu Saddam (source).  

The wheat is now ground on site and then used to bake bread on the SEKEM farms. It is planned to continue cultivating wheat in the future and to plant a larger area with this crop for the next year.

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Impressions from the farm and the SEKEM harvest festival at the School