At a large hut near a canal bank at a field in Upper Egypt’s Beni Sweif province, some 25 youth farmers gathered to learn about newer, healthier and more productive agricultural ways from their trainers provided by the Egyptian government and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as part of a joint project for rural development.
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 programs: A youth farmer field school, a women’s nutrition kitchen school and a roof-plantation training course.
The FAO 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 Egypt’s Agriculture Ministry, 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 Junior Farmer Field School does not only teach a new agricultural method but a new lifestyle. It’s a successful experience that led to about 50 percent extra production with better quality,” Beni Sweif Governor Sherif Habib told Xinhua at the feddan of land in Western Quftan village grown by the youth farmers under supervision of the FAO and the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture.