Siwa Date Presidium, Egypt
Also known as the "city of a thousand palms", the large Siwa Oasis lies in northwestern Egypt in the deep Qattarah Depression, near the border with Libya. The oasis is inhabited by Berbers and the local economy is based on the production of dates and olive oil.
Since 2006 the Presidium has been working to safeguard the various date varieties grown in the oasis, some of which are at risk of extinction. One of the main goals of the project is to improve the quality of dried dates to ensure a higher income for producers. This can only be achieved if producers can directly manage not only the harvest, but also the processing of dates, which is currently subcontracted to third parties.
The next step is therefore the creation of a drying and packaging facility that will be managed directly by the local growers' association (Scdec). The project is also working with research institutes on the ambitious project of safeguarding endangered local varieties using in vitro propagation. Although this technique requires significant economic resources, it is necessary as reproduction with root suckers
would take to long - the palms of the endangered varieties only produce one sucker every ten years.
- building a drying and packaging facility with all the necessary equipment;
- increasing the plant population of the three endangered palm varieties using in vitro propagation;
- producing communication materials to promote the product and its region.
Siwa Oasis, Matrouh Governorate, Egypt
89 producers, the producers' families (about 445 persons in total)
Total estimated cost 2012-2013