April 16, 2019
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Egypt Office and the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation held the Project Completion Seminar on "Improving Small-scale Farmers' Market-Oriented Agriculture Project (ISMAP)" on April 16th 2019 in Cairo, with the presence of the Chief Representative of JICA Egypt Office, the Chairman of the Agriculture Research Center, on behalf of His Excellency the Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, Head of Agricultural Services and Follow-up Sector, Head of Agricultural Extension Sector, as well as a number of stakeholders and participating farmers.
The project started in May 2014 in Minia and Assiut Governorates, to support the "Sustainable Agricultural Development Strategy 2030" of the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation. Through the past five years, the project has achieved positive results through its implementation, working with more than 2,000 small-scale farmers and 700 rural women in 26 villages of the two governorates.
ISMAP Approach focused mainly on capacity development of small-scale farmers to practice "farming as business", and change their mindset from the traditional "grow and sell" concept to "grow to sell" concept. It also developed a unique approach to address rural women in the targeted areas, considering their needs to contribute to their household economy, in light of the traditional social norms of Upper Egypt.
During the seminar, the participants held fruitful discussions on the successful results and lessons learnt of the project, and presented the future plan of agriculture extension in Upper Egypt by the newly established ISMAP Implementation Unit by the Egyptian ministry. The seminar was concluded by handing over the project from the ISMAP project team to the ministry's Implementation Unit.
JICA hopes that the ISMAP has contributed to improving the welfare in Upper Egypt and wishes best of luck to the new Implementation Unit in extending the project nationwide.