Beni Suef: Growing opportunities for women

Al-Ahram Weekly , Friday 3 Feb 2023

Beni Suef governorate in Upper Egypt has launched the drive “Living off its Good” in which 45 female farmers were selected to receive loans given by the Ministry of Social Solidarity. The loans will be used to rent agricultural land and grow potatoes. A leading potato chips company has been contracted to buy the crops, reports Nahla Abul-Ezz.

Growing opportunities for women


Beni Suef Governor Mohamed Ghoneim said the governorate has a history of producing quality crops for export such as potatoes, onions and garlic, which is why, he added, the governorate has expanded its modern drip irrigation systems to increase productivity and raise the quality of crops.

Beba village centre is one of the largest areas planted with potatoes in Beni Sweif. Farmers receive substantial revenues due to the quality of their crops there, Ghoneim noted.

Eida Mohamed, a farmer participating in the programme, said the support extends beyond financial backing to include technical support, including helping choose suitable seeds and conducting follow-ups on modern irrigation techniques. This has resulted in increasing the productivity of a feddan of potatoes to 14,000 tons.

The programme is a good example of successful cooperation between the private and public sectors and civil society, Ghoneim said, adding the initiative is part of the state’s plan to implement sustainable projects and help villages under the umbrella of the Decent Life initiative, which is meant to improve the countryside.

This is the third consecutive year the programme is being carried out. Overall, it has given 300 loans and provided marketing opportunities for small farmers.

The project initially started with 10 women farmers and has since expanded to 45 in addition to field workers, Ghoneim said.

*A version of this article appears in print in the 2 February, 2023 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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