Noting its efforts to promote sustainable agriculture through enhanced multilateralism, Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to receive a $200 mln Loan to strengthen agribusinesses and help local farmers adopt climate-smart agriculture practices.
As one of the only five economies across the Eastern Mediterranean, Eastern Europe and the Black Sea region to receive the loan, the EBRD will help transform Egypt’s agriculture value chain into “smart farming” through new methodologies that include climate-related risk management and stress testing. It will also strengthen farmers’ agribusinesses and improve their financial wellbeing through financing purchases of various agricultural commodities such as hazelnuts, dry dairy products, grain and onions in selected countries of operation. This comes in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has multiplied the threats to food security across many levels, particularly due to the weakening of food supply chains and the instability caused by climate change. According to Dr. Rania Al Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, this demands a coordinated and collaborative approach to maximize impact and benefit from the technical assistance provided by multilateral institutions. To strengthen Egypt’s inclusive multilateral engagement with development partners, the ministry launched its first agriculture multi-stakeholder platform in July 2020, which discussed the implications of the coronavirus pandemic on the agricultural sector and food security. The Ministry’s Global Partnerships Narrative focuses on three main pillars: ‘People at the Core’, ‘Projects in Action’ and ‘Purpose as the Driver’ to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda. Following this strategy, the ministry hold a current portfolio of 13 projects worth US$ 545.42 million, which have reached over 1.5 million beneficiaries that include both men and women across 27 governorates and provide 15,000 job opportunities. To achieve the targets of SDG Goal (1) to eradicate poverty, this project will ensure that all men and women, including poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources and appropriate new technology. It will also achieve Goal (2) of zero hunger, Goal (5) for gender equality and Goal (8) for employment and decent work through doubling agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, and implementing resilient agricultural practices. Finally, it will also help achieve SDG Goal (13) to tackle climate change through promoting mechanisms for for effective climate change-related planning and management, particularly for women, youth and local and marginalized communities. Olam International is a leading food and agribusiness company supplying food, ingredients, feed and fibre to over 25,000 customers in more than 60 countries worldwide. Headquartered in Singapore, Olam is listed on the Singapore stock exchange. The company is 53.4 per cent owned by Temasek Holdings and 17.4 per cent by Mitsubishi Corporation. Egypt is a founding member of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) which have invested over €6.5 billion in 116 projects that cover all sectors of the economy, from infrastructure to manufacturing and services, and from agribusiness to banking and capital markets.