Egypt is specialized in certain breeds of cotton and they are some of the best in the world: Giza 45 and Giza 92. In cooperation with contracted farmers, SEKEM cultivates these kinds of high quality cotton under Biodynamic guidelines. In the town of Kafr Saad, there is for instance Hag Seddiq who grows cotton for SEKEM. The farmers in the area; even those who aren’t yet contracted, receive training for Organic agriculture by the SEKEM associated organisation EBDA (Egyptian Biodynamic Association). This year, SEKEM’s cotton farmers expect to harvest 300,000 tons of fine Biodynamic Egyptian cotton.
SEKEM Initiative thrives to transform agriculture in Egypt. In the 70s SEKEM had introduced Organic agriculture in the Egyptian markets through its herbal teas and phytopharmaceuticals. And in the early 1990’s, SEKEM contributed to the law amendment for the reduction of 90% of chemical pesticide in the cotton cultivation. Now, with the help of independent associations and partners, SEKEM helps to train farmers on Organic agriculture and supports them in getting certified by Fairtrade standards.
Hag Seddiq – one of the longstanding SEKEM cotton farmers
On the fields of SEKEM’s farmer Hag Seddiq, who harvested 110 tons of Organic cotton this year, there are around 85 people working during harvest time. One of them is Samya. During harvest time, Samya works from six in the morning until noon every day alongside other men and women. Just like many others, Samya does this seasonal work for the seeding and harvesting of cotton. Samya is 54; mother of three and grandmother to two. Her employer Hag Seddiq the longstanding farmer received already several awards for his efforts in Organic agriculture and offering decent working conditions for his co-workers.
Get to know SEKEM’s cotton farmer Hag Seddiq!