15 Jan 2019
Cairo, Egypt
Organic Food and Agriculture

The idea of Urban Greens Egypt came to Abdullah Tawfic in early 2017 during his work at the Research Institute for a Sustainable Environment at the American University in Cairo. He was working at the time on applied research related to urban development with a focus on smart and sustainable solutions especially on the topics of green and open spaces.

Tawfic soon learned during his research about the continuous degradation and encroachment on productive agricultural land on the peripheries of Cairo, and how such land is gradually disappearing and jeopardizing future food production opportunities in Egypt. “That’s when I realized that urban agriculture is an important tool that should be incorporated intensively in Cairo’s vacant spaces, lands or roofs,” he noted.

That’s why when Urban Greens Egypt was established, its main aim was to promote the concept of urban agriculture and rooftop farming in the expanding city of Cairo. “We tailor different hydroponic systems, provide hydroponic consultancies, and create business solutions to interested individuals, companies,or any other interested entities,” Tawfic said.

The initiative also provides educational and awareness services in the form of theoretical and practical sessions, training courses, workshops and site visits to their farms. “We partner with different stakeholders including community based organizations to develop and implement socially responsible projects focusing on smart and sustainable soil less agriculture techniques,” Tawfic added.

The four-partner team is of different backgrounds and diverse expertise, and Tawfic is fully responsible for the component of research, development and training. We [also] have a diverse set of clients from investors who want to create business opportunities at hydroponic farms, to urban agricultural enthusiasts who want to implement hydroponic systems as a hobby and for food production at any of their vacant spaces,” he said.

When it comes to business models Urban Greens Egypt have two workable ones, acting as live hubs for rooftop farming hydroponic techniques, and there is where we operate. “The two rooftop farms are situated on the top of two residential buildings in the heart of Heliopolis and the 5th Settlement. These farms act as research and learning hubs for different set of farming experiments, and for practical training sessions for schools/individuals,” Tawfic added.

The initiative startup until today has been self-funded as it profits from consultancy jobs and educational components. “At the time being we are searching for a donor or incubator to sustain and expand our scope of work,” Tawfic said.

“A pivotal arm of Urban Greens Egypt is awareness and Education. We aim to promote the concept of Urban Agriculture through workshops, training, info sessions, events, seminars and conferences. We have participated in several events (ie: farmers market, bazaars,,etc.) where food production methods where always discussed and elaborated. We promote for hydroponics through our mock up models and systems that we always present to the audience. We also participate in capacity development of the local community (ie: info sessions about urban agriculture and smart job opportunities (Baheya Institute for Breast Cancer, Hayat International School)) . We also attend and present our models in conferences,seminars and forums (ie: Rotary Youth Leadership conference- World forum on Urban Forests WFUF).”

 

Urban Greens Egypt Organic food & agriculture
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