Project Factsheet
Tools for » Pro-poor Horticulture Value Chains in Upper Egypt
Project ID:00067258Description:MDGF-2047-D-EGY
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 31 Mar 2009
MDGF Private Sector Devt
End Date*: 30 Jun 2013
Country: Egypt Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   Multiple


The joint programme addressed key national priorities, mainly employment creation, the fostering of investment to improve income levels and better care for limited income citizens. The JP sought to do this by supporting reform of the value Chains in Upper Egypt for the benefit of small farmers, also categorized as “limited income citizens.” As part of its strategy, the programme focused efforts on women.

Programme activities fostered investment at various levels of the value chain for horticultural products in Upper Egypt. It assisted in establishing new businesses processes and/or skills for farmers, including new efforts for pickling, drying of horticultural produce and deseeding pomegranates. It also facilitated a study on new products and markets which will be promoted to investors. Other examples of how the programme facilitated investment in Upper Egypt include the establishment of a shareholding company in Sohag Governorate owned by 67 small farmers, which actively markets the crops for more than 200 small farmers, and the establishment of three business development services units in three governorates.

Through capacity building and technical training efforts the programme helped raise productivity of Post Harvest Centers (PHC) operations, which led directly to increased incomes for the farmers involved. The production figure rose from 117 tons per month in 2009 to 230 tons/month of products processed in 2013. The programme also helped farmers improve irrigation techniques and fertilization practices, which has lowered input costs (substantial in the case of tomato and pomegranate growers) further raising incomes. New crops such as broccoli, new techniques such as sun-drying tomatoes,  and new technologies  (such as drip irrigation) were introduced and continue being employed.

In addition, two  FAs  (farmers associations) and 52 farmers received Global Gap Option 2 certification, indicating that FAs and farmers are working according to the best standards and practices required by export markets. In addition the programme ran a series of life coaching workshops to address cultural barriers, including issues related to gender. The life-coaching workshops led to a number of successful efforts. Farmers were able to see themselves primary actors in their own futures, leading to increased ownership and entrepreneurism. Women were empowered to form women’s committees within the FAs and pursue new businesses themselves.

Overall, the programme’s activities reached and benefited 2,000 farmers, 250 agricultural workers including 140 rural women workers, as well as the six FAs and three PHCs in which they worked.


Outcome 1:

Small farmers and agricultural workers are more equitably integrated into domestic and international value/supply chains of horticultural products through enhanced efficiency, productivity and viable business partnerships with private sector investors.


Outcome Achievements:

  • Based on the data collected by the programme, productivity of operations at three target PHCs increased significantly from 2009 (baseline) to the two target years, 2012 and 2013. By extrapolating the data, the programme achieved success in meeting its target in 2013 (383 tons/month for 12 months equals 4,596 tons total for 2013) but did not reach the target in 2012 (230 tons/month for 12 months equals 2,760 tons total for 2012).
  • The Global Gap Option 2 certification demonstrates that farmers are working according to the best standards and according to practices required by export markets, thus indicating better integration into the value chain and a greater degree of attractiveness as partners with the private sector. As per programme targets, 2 FAs received Global Gap Option 2 certification, but only a total of 52 farmers (with a target of 100) were working according to these standards.


Outcome 2:

Entrepreneurial forms of organization established by small farmers.


Outcome Achievements:

  • The programme surpassed its target of establishing three entrepreneurial forms of organization by assisting in the establishment of two shareholding companies, as well as helping 80 small farmers to become individual entrepreneurs. The programme’s work to promote these entrepreneurial efforts included providing capacity building and legal assistance, as well as facilitating access to financing.


Outcome 3:

Policy and regulatory changes to promote pro-poor private sector-based growth in Upper Egypt's horticultural sector identified and discussed with the GOE.


Outcome Achievements:

  • The Programme sought policy and regulatory changes to 1) reduce constraints to integration of farmers into the supply chain; and 2) promote governmental incentives for small farmers and investment in Upper Egypt.
  • The programme completed two studies, one on the Cooperatives Law and one Assessment of Bottlenecks Affecting FAs. Both of which were delivered to the Shoura Council for review and consideration.
  • Continued political upheaval and instability starting in early 2011 provided a difficult atmosphere in which to affect concrete change. While no specific changes in related policies and/or regulations have been achieved, the GOE is reviewing the Cooperatives Law and acknowledges the importance of cooperatives to the development of small scale farmers and their integration into value chains, which is an extremely positive sign.


Best practices:

  • In the first year of implementation the PMU organized a series of orientation workshops to align the activities of the four participating UN organizations with the needs of the community to ensure ownership and ultimately sustainability.
  • Unified branding of the programme as “SALASEL” fostered a unified team image and helped create a credible brand among local communities, local entrepreneurs, private-sector investors, and key market players.
  • The programme established regular weekly interagency meetings (PMU) to discuss progress and coordinate work. These meetings helped to avoid duplication and address challenges with a unified strategy.
  • The regular PMU meetings – along with a successful team-building workshop – helped to forge a strong bond between staff and experts, despite the fact that they represented different organizations with different structures, systems, and mindsets.
  • Clearly defined the roles and responsibilities of the staff members in relation to each other, to their respective UN agencies, and to the programme’s main office was key to ensuring a steady flow of communications that stressed mutual cooperation.
  • As a result of the Mid-term Evaluation adjustments of indicators and the results framework were agreed though a joint workshop, this helped to forge closer interagency partnerships, realign activities and ultimately the greater overall impact of the programme.


Lessons learned:

  • The establishment of a Programme Management Committee (PMC) and Project and Project Management Unit (PMU), together with team-building efforts and the location of field offices within the communities were key for effective information flow and knowledge management, which helped to ensure informed decision-making, improved the effectiveness of interventions, and should underpin the eventual sustainability of the programme.
  • Planning coupled with a participatory decision-making was key for the creation of a cohesive structure, clear vision and a strong team spirit needed to successfully implement a joint programme with multilayered activities.
  • As a result of the early field work, programme partners were able to see their roles along the value chain in relation to the common goals of the programme outputs, which translated into a positive team spirit and highly motivated staff.


More details can be found in the documents below.

Recent Documents
Key Figures
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If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Egypt or the lead agency for the programme. The MPTF Office Portfolio Manager (or Country Director with Delegation of Authority) for this programme:

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