PDS’ work in this sector reflects our belief that agriculture lies at the heart of the Egyptian economy and way of life. Environmental changes and the ever increasing population are factors that put increasing pressure on productive agricultural lands as well as their inhabitants. Internal and external problems threaten the sustainability of the Egyptian agriculture sector and way of life in a direct and indirect manner. The increasing scarcity of water resources, unsustainable groundwater use, and the pollution in the Nile River affect not only farmers, but all Egyptians.
The goal of the Agriculture and Food Security program is to support innovation for more efficient and sustainable agricultural production to enhance food security, incomes, and nutrition that benefit small-scale farmers, enhancing the productivity of the entire agriculture value chain, beginning on the farm and ending when products reach consumers.
PDS is providing training to farmers to achieve international quality standards certification, thus helping them gain the confidence of exporters. With direct access to the international markets, farmers make nearly twice what they would on the local market.
The market-driven approach of the project is supported by four interrelated components:
Improved on-farm production,
More efficient post-harvest processes,
Improved marketing of agriculture crops and products, and
Improved nutritional status.
In addition to the major components, there are also a number of supporting cross cutting themes including systems strengthening for input suppliers; agriculture processors and support services; a focus on end markets and demand; an understanding of the role of value chain governance; a market systems perspective; recognition of the importance of inter-firm relationships and stakeholder participation; policy and enabling environment; gender inclusivity; and leveraging proven ICT capabilities to bring interventions to scale.