FAO officials tour rural development projects in Egypt’s Beni Sweif

Senior officials from Egypt and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have made field visits Wednesday to a joint rural development project as part of the 2016 World Food Day (WFD) celebrations.

Initiated over a year ago and implemented in impoverished rural areas, the project of “Improving Household Food and Nutrition Security in Egypt by Targeting Women and Youth” includes three main stages: a youth farmer field school, a women’s nutrition kitchen school and a roof-plantation training course.

“It’s been a great, praiseworthy effort made by the FAO here in Beni Sweif. I see the Junior Farmer Field School as a leading experience in Beni Sweif and we’re willing to expand it due to its expected economic benefit and many job opportunities for the youth,” Beni Sweif Governor Sherif Habib said in a press conference Wednesday, noting youth farmers’ yields increased by 50 percent after taking the agricultural classes.

Accompanied by FAO representatives, the governor took a tour to inspect the project, meeting with young farmers at the junior farmer field school at Western Quftan village and with trainees at the women’s nutrition kitchen and the roof-plantation program at Beni Sweif agriculture department.

“I am confident that we’ll have further and greater cooperation with the FAO to boost agriculture and food security in Beni Sweif,” the governor said.

The project is implemented in the provinces of Beni Sweif, Fayoum, Sohag, Assiut and Aswan, funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and carried out in cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture, with the purpose of helping Egyptian youth and women in rural areas double agricultural crops, learn about healthier, simpler and cheaper nutrition and use neglected roofs for fruit and vegetable plantation.

The WFD 2016 has been marked on Sunday with later continuous activities under the theme “Climate is Changing, Food and Agriculture Must Too,” focusing on the critical relation between climate change and food security and future sustainable development.

“We’re very happy to work with the Egyptian provinces and we hope it will be a good chance for future cooperation,” said FAO Representative in Egypt Hussein Gadain, stressing that the joint project aims at assisting the Egyptian government to create a food-secure environment where youth and women have access to sufficient, diversified food as well as relevant awareness and skills to reach nutritionally adequate diets.

Source: Xinhua