Egypt has celebrated the inauguration of the first phase of the “Rawabet” project, to develop value chains in the dairy sector and employ small farmers across Gharbeya governorate.
The celebration was attended by: Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat; Tariq Rahmi, Governor of Gharbeya; and Eric Ochelan, Director of the Technical Team for Decent Work for North African Countries and Director at the International Labour Organization (ILO).
During the event, the participants inspected and followed up on what the project has achieved so far. The project was implemented by Danone Egypt, as part of the Youth Employment Project in Egypt, focusing on Job Creation and Private Sector Development in Egypt’s rural areas.
Minister Al-Mashat said that the project reflects Egypt’s interest in achieving economic development in rural communities, in a way that improves the living conditions of farmers and improves their productive capabilities.
The minister said that the importance of the project lies in its ability to link all parties in the dairy production, circulation, and processing system. This starts from the farmers themselves, through to feed suppliers and providers of veterinary health care services, to manufacturers.
This creates added value and maximises returns for entrepreneurs and small farmers in a way that enhances the thinking of chain value and achieves sustainable development.
Minister Al-Mashat said that the project does not stop with the end of the role of the development partner. It is completed, instead, by the private sector, represented by Danone, which in turn provides veterinary services to farmers.
Essam Al-Maddah, Head of Communications and Human Resources at Danone Egypt, said that in recent years, the company has cooperated with many governmental, international, and civil organisations and agencies.
This was with the aim of developing value chains in the dairy sector across Egypt, through a number of initiatives to raise awareness among farmers and small farmers. This included taking part in projects such as the “Baladna Dairy” initiative, and the “Rawabet” initiative.
These initiatives helped provide job opportunities for young people, especially in the Egyptian countryside.
He added that these initiatives help in securing up to 17% of Egypt’s raw milk needs, in terms of the best quality fresh raw milk. It also ensures a healthy and sustainable ecosystem around the supply chain, whilst creating 140 job opportunities in the dairy centres.
This is in addition to directly supporting more than 8,000 farmers, and more than 25,000 family members indirectly.
“We have succeeded in increasing farmers’ income, and the initiative has also helped provide small-scale dairy producers with access to a wide range of services including milk analysis, weighing, storage and veterinary services,” Al-Maddah added.
He said that these initiatives come in accordance with Danone’s vision for sustainable development 2030, approved by the United Nations (UN) member states, and in accordance with Egypt’s Vision 2030. The latter aims at a global call for action to eradicate poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. This would take place through the implementation of 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs), and integrating them together to balance social, economic, and environmental sustainability.