SASME’s loans to agricultural SMEs in Egypt reach $ 60 million by September
The closing ceremony took place in the presence of Christian Berger, head of the EU mission, and Fabio Grazi, director of the AfD office in Cairo.
According to ElKosayer, the program aimed to develop bank operations skills and provide technical assistance to beneficiaries in the banking sector and financial institutions involved in agricultural loans.
At the same time, it aimed to create new effective systems to meet the needs and characteristics of SMEs, with 127 training courses being held. In addition to awareness-raising and training programs aimed at cooperatives and civil societies, 2,443 trainees from eight banks took part in a training program.
The project also provided technical support in developing the value chain for around 525 dairy farms, seven milk collection centers and three cheese factories. These are located in the four governorates of Beheira, Menoufiya, Qalioubiya and Gharbeya.
The support aims to increase the efficiency of these farms and centers and to maintain dairy products that meet quality standards so that they can compete both inside and outside Egypt.
ElKosayer added that during the project, two fish farms were designed and built in Alexandria to produce sea bream, sea bass and red tilapia. Egypt’s first hatchery for mussels was also set up in Fayed, Ismailia Governorate, in addition to a mussel farm in Port Said and two juvenile acclimatization units in Port Said and Ismailia.
These projects will help define Egyptian standards for fish farming, apply best practices for fish farming management in the country and increase production.
ElKosayer’s comments came during a speech given on his behalf by Deputy Agriculture and Land Reclamation Minister for Economic Affairs and External Relations, Mohamed Zakaria, at the closing ceremony of the program.
ElKosayer emphasized that this project represents a new embodiment of the constructive cooperation with two of the most important development partners, namely the EU and France, especially after the signing of the Egyptian-European partnership agreement.
He added that the Egyptian government is always keen to continue working towards strengthening this partnership, which is considered a fundamental pillar in support of cooperation between the two sides.
It was established to maximize economic development efforts to reduce rural poverty. The program includes the promotion of the technical and organizational skills of poor rural families in general and women and young people in particular.
ElKosayer emphasized the interest of the Egyptian leadership in the agriculture and rural development sector, especially through SMEs. This is due to the preeminent role these projects play in economic and social development and in increasing production, job creation and their contribution to Egypt’s gross domestic product (GDP). These projects have been funded and are considered to be the main factor influencing the operation of the program.
The SASME program jointly funded by the EU and AfD in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation is one of the first initiatives for such projects in the agricultural sector, the minister said.
It is aimed at small farmers, small investors, food producers, the agricultural industry and the establishment of value chains for milk and fish. It takes into account the promotion of women and young people, to which the state pays great attention.
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