By Akanimo Sampson
A group, Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), an international agricultural development organisation that specialises in the design and implementation of sustainable, enterprise-based agricultural initiatives is implementing the Feed the Future Egypt Food Security and Agribusiness Support (FAS) project, funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
The Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation is also involved in the project.
CNFA in cooperation with the World Food Logistics Organisation (WFLO), launched the inaugural Egypt Cold Chain Exhibition bringing hundreds of packhouse owners and operators, exporters, agricultural associations, cooperatives and their farmer members, input suppliers, end-market retailers including supermarkets, government officials, and logistic agencies from Egypt and international markets.
Hosted at the Movenpick Hotel 6th October City, the exhibition ran from January 22-23 and aimed at providing agriculture and cold chain market players in Egypt with the opportunity to network with each other and learn about new cold chain technologies and operational innovations.
The event commenced with a keynote by the General Supervisor of Foreign Agricultural Relations, Ministry of Agriculture and Land and Reclamation, Dr. Saad Moussa, on behalf of the Minister, who Brinton Bohling, USAID/Egypt, Director, Office of Economic Growth, and Dr. Hussein Mansour, Chairman the National Food Safety Authority also attended the event.
Chief of Party for the FAS project, Dominic Graham, said “the Cold Chain Exhibition has attracted many international and local companies. The event gives agriculture and cold chain market actors in Egypt the opportunity to network with each other, with foreign companies, and to learn about new cold chain technologies and operational innovations.”
The two-day event featured educational seminars on various cold-chain-related topics and networking with international and local cold chain exhibitors. These interactive sessions allowed participants to:
Learn about global best practices and technologies at the educational seminars, including the use of solar energy to power cold chain infrastructure, and discuss the latest in modern cold chain technology with global equipment suppliers.
Networking with peers to grow the cold chain within Egypt and to see how embracing the use of cold chain infrastructure can open up new markets within Egypt and export markets.
Continuing, Graham, the FAS boss said, “Cold chain infrastructure helps to reduce agriculture post-harvest losses and enables the proper handling and storage of perishable products through the development of systems and best practices for the safe, efficient, and reliable movement of food. Developing a modern, integrated cold chain has proven effective for agricultural development for many countries and offers the potential for economic growth in Egypt.”
The FAS project is, however, part of the Agriculture Development and Increased Incomes Programme (ARDII). FAS works to increase agricultural incomes of smallholders, enhance food security, and improve the nutritional status of women and young children in seven governorates across Upper Egypt. The project is market-driven and works in both domestic and export-oriented horticulture.
USAID, on the other hand, administers the US foreign assistance programme, providing economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 80 countries worldwide. Over nearly 40 years, USAID has worked with the Egyptian people to eliminate polio; provide water, electricity, and telephone services to nearly all of Egypt; double the number of girls in schools; and reduce infant mortality by 80 percent.