15 Feb 2016
Cairo, Egypt
Organic Food and Agriculture

To ensure a transition to sustainable agricultural practices in Egypt, Nawaya organizes participatory programmes designed for the techniques of organic farming. Founded by a young group of Egyptians, Nawaya also helps farmers and their family to develop their skills and market their own products, creating a direct link with consumers.

Born in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, Nawaya develops participatory programmes in the Egyptian rural community with the aim of introducing sustainable agricultural practices. In Arabic, the term ” nawaya ” is a pun meaning both “seed” and “intent”, two key words that sum up the ambitions of this NGO: sow today the seeds of rural futures.

Created by a group of young Egyptians, Nawaya is currently working with about fifteen families from the countryside to help them in their transition to sustainable practices. Activities take place in the Fagnoon art school, a creative centre located in the vicinity of Cairo. Here, farmers can test new techniques directly on the plots of land reserved for NGO.

Inspired by permaculture – a philosophy that advocates reconciliation between human activities and natural ecosystems – the workshop operates primarily as an experimental space. It tests different techniques to reduce water consumption and recycle waste or compost to improve soil quality.

Towards sustainable agricultural practices in Egypt | The Switchers

To help farmers generate new incomes, Nawaya also launched a livestock project of native fowls, Fayoumi. Chickens and eggs are sold directly to consumers through the Osool brand (which means ” roots ” in Arabic). While giving visibility to the products of small producers, Nawaya also creates a network of consumers sensible to their initiative.

We act as a catalyst for transitioning small-scale food-producing communities towards sustainability. Nawaya
Towards sustainable agricultural practices in Egypt | The Switchers

Nawaya has also set up a community kitchen in the premises of the Fagnoon art school to involve farmer’s wives. They share their traditional knowledge in educational sessions, while Nawaya sells their products through the brand Baladini, launched in 2014. This initiative strengthens the link with consumers and provides new economic opportunities for women from the rural world.

Towards sustainable agricultural practices in Egypt | The Switchers
Nawaya Organic farming
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