Agriculture in the Desert – Quite a Task
SEKEM Agriculture functions as holding for the agricultural activities and companies of SEKEM. From reclaiming desert land through SEKEM For Land Reclamation, natural pest control through Predators, graving plants through El-Mizan to cattle management and composting through Libra, the whole agriculture cycle is covered.
Agriculture is More than Planting Crops
Biodynamic agriculture is a method of Organic farming that applies a holistic understanding of life processes. As one of the first sustainable agriculture movements, it treats soil fertility, plant growth, and livestock care as ecologically interrelated tasks emphasizing spiritual and cosmic perspectives.
The basic idea of Biodynamic farming is the treatment of animals, crops and soil as a single system in a sustainable way. A high diversity of plants and animals should be present on the farm: trees, various plants of different seasonality and different animals like birds, insects and small animals like hedgehogs, lizards and others. It’s important to keep the balance between the flora and fauna and that they do not disturb the life cycle on the farm but support it with their respective contributions. Hence, they strengthen each other and contribute to the nutrition of the human being and themselves. Therefore, the cultivation plan takes a crop rotation into account related to the circumstances of each farm. An astrological cultivation calendar is used to set the correct time for agriculture work. The basic principle of fertilization is the creation of a compost out of plant residues and animal manure from the farm. This mixture is treated with the six Biodynamic compost preparations made from medicinal plants. Additionally, there are two Biodynamic field preparations used when cultivating the fields. The Biodynamic preparations enhance all the bacterial, fungal and mineral processes that are found in the Organic farming system. Therefore, they are helpful for a sustainable agriculture.
From the Desert to the Supermarket
Holistic agriculture combined with processing companies in one, closed value chain enables SEKEM to produce highest quality products with full transparency and traceability. For Egypt and the world.
First Impression: Impressive!
In the years 2007 to 2009 SEKEM acquired three new plots of desert land (total area of 6000 Feddan), with the aim to establish model farms proofing that Biodynamic agricultural methods are the best option for Egypt in desert land reclamation, food security and sustainable development and to secure SEKEMs growing pure, Biodynamic raw material needs.
From SEKEMs first year until 2013, about 1600 Feddan have been reclaimed and developed including all necessary infrastructure and community centers for sustainable development on all three farms.