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Challenge of the women in rural area - SHEP approach in Egypt : ISMP -

ISMAP (Improving Small-Scale Farmers' Market-Oriented Agriculture Project) in Egypt has modified the original SHEP approach so that ISMAP can apply the principle of SHEP approach more effectively in accordance with the cultural back ground in Upper Egypt. People in rural area in Upper Egypt conventionally do not prefer to have males and females participated in same occasion together, and they sometimes regard it is shameful for females to work outside. Therefore, the Project has carried out the activities for males and females separately.

The target women were generally willing to work on poultry raising and food processing under the Project because those activities are relatively easy to be done not so much interrupting domestic work. In response to those women's request, the Project provided the opportunities for the women to visit city market and supermarket, in which the project aimed to let the women to come up with useful crews or new ideas for their business improvement. At the supermarket, the women living in the village near the governorate capital said "We can make better and cheaper breads than those sold here!" and those women started breads sales.

At the outset, the women started finding the place where they can sell their products. Finally, they could start selling their breads at the premise of Governorate Agricultural Directorate by getting cooperation from the Undersecretary of the Directorate. As the women built their experience of selling products and communicating customers, they have come up with a lot of ideas on how they can improve their way of selling and products. Now, they have more various kinds of products, which were only two kinds at the beginning. Furthermore, they have been developing their business: some women have started selling products by receiving orders via mobiles, and some started selling new places and enlarged their business, which also led to cost reduction by purchasing materials in bulk with cheaper price. The Project supports them giving the training on how to make practical business plan. The women told the Project with a confident smile; "nowadays, I'm busy everyday with thinking what I can do to make my business better!" Their activity got into a local newspaper and has been popular in the area.





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